The Space Kingdom of Asgardia, created by Russian-Azerbaijani businessman Igor Ashurbeiyli, has received recognition from UNESCO in the form of a contract for a science prize fund, inked last year by the former UNESCO Chief Irina Bokova, the BBC Russian service writes. But the new head of the organization, Audrey Azule, has terminated the contract with Asgardia without notice. This has been done after an internal audit of the “legacy” left by the Bulgarian in the international organization.

Asgardia, solars and lunars

The Space Kingdom/Space Nation of Asgardia is a virtual structure with an anthem and a flag that exists only on paper and in the memory of the Asgardia-1 satellite launched with the money of the developer Ashurbeiyli, former Director General of the Almas-Antey arms giant. Asgardian citizenship is available online and the “nation” currently has 270,000 people with the status of “citizens”.

The virtual nation has also launched its virtual currency – solars and lunars.

In Norse mythology, Asgard is the dwelling place of the gods. So far, Igor Ashurbeiyli has just acquired for himself the status of a lifetime monarch of the virtual kingdom and has been striving for international recognition from the United Nations (UN). The contract with UNESCO had been a step in that direction, he, himself, told the BBC.

Medal for Cuban cosmonaut

Asgardia has funded a Medal for Contribution to Space Science, which, according to the contract signed by Irina Bokova and Ashurbeiyli in June 2017, should be regularly awarded by UNESCO in the course of five years.

The medal initiative has come from Asgardia, says Ashurbeiyli. Meanwhile, the medal has been financed with dull traditional money, not with “solars” and “lunars”. The amount that Asgardia has had to pay has been EUR 260,000, of which the first installment of EUR 130,000 has been paid.

The first medal award ceremony was held last year at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris. The first woman cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova and the first Cuban cosmonaut Arnaldo Mendes were among the four laureates.

The 2018 ceremony will not take place because the contract has been unilaterally terminated by the new UNESCO Director General Audrey Azule. The King of Asgardia, however, intends to get back the money paid in advance. The BBC estimates the losses for the Asgardian budget at EUR 78,000.

The Asgardian Lobby – Bokova and the Russian Ambassador to UNESCO Mitrofanova

According to the BBC, the Russian Ambassador to UNESCO Eleonora Mitrofanova, a former deputy of Irina Bokova, has taken an active participation in the recognition of Asgardia by UNESCO. Ashurbeiyli, himself, confirms that he has good connections with Mitrofanova. The two are also members of other organizations with dubious legitimacy.

Irina Bokova, herself, is a graduate of the Soviet Moscow State Institute of International Relations and is close to Mitrofanova. During her campaign for the post of UN Secretary-General, Bokova was described in the Western press as “Putin’s candidate”.

Bokova’s contract with the Space Kingdom of Asgardia has shocked a large number of the staff of UNESCO, the UN’s educational, scientific and cultural organization, the BBC further reveals. Following the audit of the contracts signed by Bokova, the one with Asgardia has emerged as well and the new chief of the organization has decided to end it.

But “King” Ashurbeiyli sees another reason for the dissolution of his relations with UNESCO. According to him, it stems from geopolitical games, as the “Contribution to Space Science” nomination for 2018 had been for an American, and UNESCO did not want to award a US citizen after the USA left the organization and no longer contributes to its budget.

Pictured: Valentina Tereshkova, Irina Bokova, and Asgardia King Igor Ashurbeiyli at the UNESCO award ceremony in 2017 Source: ashurbeyli.ru

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