On March 10 four journalists and producers from Finland, Lithuania and Estonia were refused of entry visas to Armenia upon their arrival to “Zvartnots” International Airport of Yerevan. The journalists were lead to the transit zone and left Yerevan on the next day.
The March 11 press release, released by Lithuanian TV Komanda company, informed that the aim of the visit to Armenia of the international film-makers was the work on a “documentary movie on the difficult path of conflict resolution in war-affected Caucasus”. In frames of this project it was planned to produce face-to-face interviews with officials and peacemakers under the general theme of “Armenia: Past, Present and Future” on the dispatch by “YLE” National Finnish Broadcasting Company. This production was to be also used in the documentary on the tragic events in Khodjaly during the Armenian-Azerbaijani warfare, the press release notes.
According to Andrius Brokas, Executive Co-Producer of the project, who communicated with his colleagues in the Yerevan airport from Helsinki, the journalists were told that their entry to Armenia is unwanted. The press release stresses that the incident in Yerevan airport occurred ahead of the visit to the region by the OSCE Acting Chairman, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Audronius Azubalis.
Many Armenian media published the explanations of the Press Secretary of RA Ministry of Foreign Affairs Tigran Balayan, informing that issuing visas on the Armenian border is not the competence of the MFA. Other official sources, including state agencies engaged delivering visas on the border, have not commented the incident anyhow.