Azerbaijani President Haidar Aliev yesterday recapitulated some of his country’s objections to Russia’s policies in the region. He called for equal treatment for all countries in the CIS, "without any predominance by some over others," stopping the "current tendency to create CIS supranational bodies," removal of Russian military bases and troops from Armenia and Georgia, evacuation of the more than $1 billion worth of military hardware delivered by Moscow to Armenia, and an investigation in Russia into the unlawful deliveries. The president criticized Russian security agencies for harboring Ayaz Mutaliev, the former Communist leader of Azerbaijan, and others wanted for trial in Azerbaijan on charges of conspiracy to overthrow the government.
Aliev spoke to a visiting delegation from the Council of Europe, with which he also discussed the plan for a Europe-Central Asia transit corridor via Georgia and Azerbaijan. Aliev pointed to the recent creation of GUAM — the Georgia-Azerbaijan-Ukraine-Moldova group of countries — which intends to facilitate direct Europe-Asia transit, circumventing Russian territory. (Turan, Russian agencies, April 2)
Verdict Against Tajik "Terrorists" Questioned.