Interfax - Russia & CIS Diplomatic Panorama May 18, 2017 Thursday 6:33 PM MSK Russia does not need dubious advice on how to build inter-ethnic relations - Foreign Ministry MOSCOW. May 18 The comments made by Azerbajani diplomats over the Russian Supreme Court decision to close the All-Russian Azerbaijani Congress were inappropriate, Moscow does not need the advice of the Azeri representatives on how to build inter-ethnic relations within the country, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said. "We took note of the speech by a representative from the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry regarding Russia's domestic policy. Things were said about the balance of inter-ethnic relations, the concept of reform, prospects of an intercultural dialogue in our country. We consider such statements inappropriate," Zakharova said at a briefing in Moscow on Thursday. "Assessing a Russian court decision on a Russian civic organization as an unfriendly step against Azerbaijan looks, in principle, somehow odd," Zakharova said. "And, of course, it is regretful that the Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan is again using media theories and then goes public with them about some Armenian trail. We don't need some dubious advice on how we should build inter-ethnic relations in our own country," Zakharova said. "Russia is a multiethnic, democratic state, the rights of everyone are protected and ensured regardless of their ethnicity," she said. "We have all the conditions created for self-organization and proper operation of cultural, ethnic, civic organizations. In particular, the interests of Russian citizens of Azeri ethnicity are represented by over 260 nonprofit organizations. At the federal level, we have successfully operating the Azerbaijani youth organization of Russia, the Union of Azerbaijani organizations of Russia, the Federal national-cultural autonomy of Azerbaijanis of Russia, the World Azerbaijani Cultural Foundation," Zakharova said. "Russia cherishes its strategic partnership with Azerbaijan, the course towards reinforcing it in every measure was determined by the two countries' leaders. We are convinced that the remarks that I quoted, which perhaps were not quite thought through, will not inflict damage on the Russian-Azerbaijani relationship," the Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.