Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova attends a news briefing in Moscow, April 22, 2021

Russia Dismisses Aliyev’s Call To Stop Arming Armenia

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By Aza Babayan

MOSCOW (azatutyun.am) – Supplying weapons to other countries is Moscow’s sovereign right, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said on Thursday, August 19, when asked to comment on Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s call to stop arming Armenia.

In an interview to CNN Turk television on August 14 the Azerbaijani leader argued that while the Armenian people and their leadership “have put up with the defeat” in last year’s Nagorno-Karabakh war with Azerbaijan, continuing to arm Armenia appears “illogical.”

Aliyev referred to the August 11 statement by Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu about the start of military supplies to Armenia made during a meeting with his Armenian counterpart Arshak Karapetian in Moscow.

“We expect that Russia will stop arming Armenia, we don’t see it at the moment,” Aliyev said.

At a news briefing on August 19, Maria Zakharova, an official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, reminded that Russia has supplied weapons not only to Armenia, its key military and political ally in the South Caucasus, but also to Azerbaijan.

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“It is Russia’s sovereign right, and the Russian side always takes into account the need to maintain a balance of military power in the region,” she said.

In an apparent reference to Aliyev’s recent statements Zakharova also said that bellicose rhetoric does not help settle the situation, stressing that Moscow’s unconditional priority remains the implementation of the trilateral agreements of the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia from November 9, 2020 and January 11, 2021.

The official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed that high-level contacts with Yerevan and Baku continue on a regular bases. As for the mostly non-public nature of these negotiations, she said: “Simply, [publicity] may really get in the way of achieving sustainable results. And in this regard, I would like to note the absolute counter-productiveness of confrontational rhetoric, let alone bellicose rhetoric, which political leaders in the South Caucasus sometimes resort to. It strikes directly at one point and, unfortunately, damages the main thing – the achievement of a sustainable result.”

Zakharova noted with satisfaction that the tripartite working group on unblocking regional transport links resumed its work in Moscow on August 17, getting down to practical discussions.

She once again called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to start work on the delimitation and demarcation of their border as soon as possible.

“The situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border has worsened due to an acute lack of trust between the two sides, and a long-term solution is to launch negotiations on the delimitation of the border with its subsequent demarcation,” she said, reiterating Russia’s readiness to provide necessary consultative assistance to this process.

The official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed that the situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone remains relatively calm “due to effective service of Russian peacekeepers” deployed in the region.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also spoke about an “overall stable situation” in the Nagorno-Karabakh region as he discussed this and other international issues in a telephone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron on August 19.

“Steps are being taken to restore economic and transport links in the South Caucasus and to meet the humanitarian needs of the population,” Putin said, according to the Kremlin.

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