Peter Tase: Armenia becoming 'North Korea of Europe'
The purchase of advanced weapons by the Armenian Government is surely a threat to peace and stability in Europe, said Peter Tase, a political analyst and international relations expert with the Milwaukee-based Marquette University.
Tase, commenting on the approval of Russia's credit line worth $100 for purchase of the weapons, told Trend that such an attitude will further instigate armed clashes in the line of contact, result in more innocent Azerbaijani civilians being killed by the very same weapons, as well as harm the socio-economic environment in the Caucasus region.
The expert voiced surprise that NATO and the European Union have not denounced and condemned the recent purchase of weapons made by Yerevan.
"Indeed it is a 'hypocritical' gesture on the part of NATO," he said. "We have Armenia, a European country purchasing a large quantity of weapons, becoming the North Korea of Europe, and such a threat is not perceived, nor condemned with a sense of urgency by NATO. "
In late 2015, Russia and Armenia agreed on allocation of a $ 200 million loan to Armenia for the purchase of modern weapons. The Armenian government approved the first $ 100 million loan package on October 12.
Under the agreement, a $100-million loan will be extended to Armenia for 20 years.
Asked about the timing of the credit approval by Armenia, which was announced ahead of the summit of the Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents in Geneva, Tase said that Yerevan's attitude focused in piling up weapons and military equipment, is a threat to peace talks.
"Above all, it is a constant danger to the territorial sovereignty and integrity of Azerbaijan. The international community is making a big mistake as they are maintaining silence and continue to apply the famous formula of double standards, that in the long run will further ruin the image and reputation of multilateral diplomacy that is actively promoted by Brussels," Tase said, adding that NATO's silence is unacceptable.
Tase further voiced disbelief that the upcoming official meeting will generate any positive outcome nor any concrete results, as "the feeble pressure from international community is favoring the current status-quo that is embraced by Armenia, for a number of years".
The expert called on the international community to raise its voice and call for the withdrawal of Armenian troops from sovereign territory of Azerbaijan and for the immediate lifting of Armenian economic blockade imposed against the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic.
Azerbaijan and Armenia for over two decades have been locked in a conflict, which emerged over Armenia's territorial claims to Azerbaijan. Since the 1990s war, Armenian armed forces have occupied over 20 percent of Azerbaijan's internationally recognized territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions. Although the UN Security Council has adopted four resolutions on Armenian withdrawal from the occupied lands of Azerbaijan, they have not been enforced to this day.
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