Azerbaijan’s state security minister, Namig Abbasov, has rejected a Russian assertion that the two countries had agreed on the return of Russian border troops to Azerbaijan. Abbasov, whose ministry supervises Azerbaijan’s border troops, stated that such a step is "out of the question" and that Baku has refused to discuss repeated Russian proposals to that effect. On July 21 the deputy commander-in-chief of Russia’s Federal Border Service, Col. Gen. Aleksandr Yeryomin, claimed that Moscow and Baku had reached agreement on creating a common grouping of border troops to guard jointly "CIS external borders in Azerbaijan" opposite Turkey and Iran. Yeryomin confirmed in that context that there are no Russian border troops in Ukraine, Moldova, Azerbaijan, and Uzbekistan. (Russian agencies, July 21-23)
Crack Reopens in Ranks of Tajik Regime.