The annual State Department Report on Human Rights released on March 13, contained several notable changes in its Armenia and Azerbaijan sections pertaining to the Karabakh conflict.

Thus, the report’s Azerbaijan section took notice that “individuals with Armenian-sounding names” were “occasionally” barred from entering Azerbaijan. In reality, based on multiple experiences reported in the press such individuals have been barred from entering Azerbaijan as matter of policy for over two decades. The Russian Foreign Ministry recently issued a warning to its citizens planning to travel to Azerbaijan.

The State Department also modified its language on the territorial status quo, making it more neutral. In the past, the Human Rights reports referred to “Nagorno Karabakh and seven other Azerbaijani territories;” starting from 2017 report the language was changed to “Nagorno Karabakh and seven surrounding Azerbaijani territories.” As before, the report noted that the “final status Nagorno Karabakh remained the subject of international mediation of the OSCE Minsk Group.”