By Rasana Gasimova
Military-technical cooperation is an important area of strategic partnership between Russia and Azerbaijan, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said during a press conference in Baku on December 3.
"I can only emphasize that military-technical cooperation is one of the areas, important areas of our strategic partnership with Azerbaijan," Lavrov said while commenting on Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s recent remark voiced at the CSTO Council meeting that the Collective Security Treaty Organization member-states must withhold from selling weapons to Azerbaijan.
Lavrov noted that Russia and Azerbaijan are developing military cooperation in a transparent way.
“We are developing military-technical cooperation in full compliance with international law, and the norms of the both countries’ legislation - keeping the balance of the region within the framework of maintaining stability,” Lavrov said.
It should be noted that Moscow and Russia are historical allies. Armenian Prime Minister said that Russia is Armenia's "strategic ally" while speaking at UN on September 26. Pashinyan had also chosen Moscow as a venue for his first foreign visit as a prime minister.
The CSTO is a Russian-led military bloc of six countries - Armenia, Belarus, Khazakhstan, Kyrygzstan, Russia and Tajikistan. Under Article 4 of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, external threat to any member state will be deemed as a threat to all member countries.
Azerbaijan has voiced on many occasion its willingness to start military operations against Armenia to regain control over its occupied Nagorno-Karabakh and well as seven surrounding regions, if peace negotiations fail to yield any results. It should be noted that all of the CSTO’s member countries, except for Armenia, recognize Nagorno-Karabakh as an integral part of Azerbaijan.
According to the Global Firepower survey center, Azerbaijan ranks 53rd for the strength of its army worldwide, leaving behind many CIS and regional countries.
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