The commanderof Azerbaijan’s border troops, Maj. General Abbas-Ali Novruzov,dismissed via Interfax August 15 allegations that arms are reachingChechnya via Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan does not permit the use ofits territory against Russia, Russian troops tightly control theirside of the Azerbaijan-Russia border, and Russia’s North Caucasusmilitary command has no evidence of arms moving from Azerbaijanto Chechnya, Novruzov said. Novruzov was reacting to a recentspate of apparently planted stories in the Russian media claimingthat the Chechen resistance receives arms and intelligence supportvia Azerbaijan. Since the beginning of the Chechnya war Russiahas restricted movement across its border with Azerbaijan, chokingtrade flows vital to the latter and causing discontent among theLezgins and other ethnic groups which straddle that border.
Iran May Participate in Azeri Oil Project.