Azerbaijan ready to continue military cooperation with Russia, FM says

By Nazrin Gadimova

Azerbaijan is ready to continue cooperation with Russia in the military sphere.

Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov made a statement in his interview to Russian media on the eve of his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov’s visit to Baku.

Mammadyarov believes that information on existing unresolved financial issues between Baku and Moscow does not correspond to the reality.

“We pay for everything in accordance with the contracts,” the minister stressed. “There are problems with the performance – the armament, which arrives in Azerbaijan, must comply with the technical parameters fixed in the contracts. Dmitry Rogozin arrived in Baku to understand the problems associated with these parameters, and he was given full explanations. No questions left.”

The transactions go on in accordance with schedule, but it is necessary to correct the technical parameters of a few particular types of weapons, Mammadyarov stressed.

“This, according to Dmitry Rogozin, will be done in the near future. In general, our cooperation with Russia in the military-technical sphere is successfully developing based on commercial principles and on the basis of mutually beneficial cooperation,” the foreign minister said.

Mammadyarov also highlighted on the note of protest that was sent to Moscow on February 24.

Mammadyarov said the document demanded from Russia to give guarantees on the non-use of the military equipment sold to Armenia in the occupied Azerbaijani territories, as well as along the Azerbaijan-Armenia border.

Azerbaijan has voiced its concerns over Russia's approval of a $200 million loan to Armenia for the purchase of Russian-made military equipment. At the same time, Russia, which enjoys much influence on Armenia, is considered a key party in brokering a lasting solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which emerged over Armenia's territorial claims against its South Caucasus neighbor in 1988.

Russia is a co-chairing country of the OSCE Minsk Group, engaged in a peaceful settlement of the ongoing conflict that has destabilized the region for two decades.

“There is a rule of the end-consumer in such supplies. If Armenia is the end-consumer, then the issue would not go beyond the framework of bilateral relations between Moscow and Yerevan. However, when the weapons are placed on the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, it is a different matter,” Azerbaijan’s foreign minister stressed.

With regard to the upcoming visit of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Mammadyarov said that the parties will discuss the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

“Meanwhile, we plan to focus on prospects of the North-South transport corridor - the idea of connecting railways of the Northern European countries, Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran and further Pakistan and India,” he concluded.

Russia is the main trading partner of Azerbaijan in the CIS. It also ranks first among the countries importing goods from Azerbaijan. Today, more than 600 companies with Russian capital operate in the country. Russian investments in the country’s economy have recently amounted to more than $1.8 billion. The leading Azerbaijani companies successfully operate in the regions of the Russian Federation. Direct Azerbaijani investments in the Russian economy have amounted to more than $1 billion for the last 10 years.

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Nazrin Gadimova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @NazrinGadimova

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