Azerbaijan President Haidar Aliev’s foreign policy adviser, Vafa Guluzade, has expressed the country’s “alarm” over Moscow’s intention to add modern weaponry to the Russian arsenal deployed in Armenia. Guluzade spoke on July 18 following Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeev’s visit to Armenia, where he announced that intention. (Details in the Monitor, July 16) Challenging Moscow to “seriously explain what its interests in the region are,” Guluzade reaffirmed Azerbaijan’s opposition to the presence of Russian military bases in the South Caucasus. He added that Russian arming of Armenia is incompatible with Moscow’s official role as a co-chairman of the OSCE group which mediates between Armenia and Azerbaijan. (Russian agencies, July 18)
Russian military hardware based in Armenia is used by both Russian and Armenian troops, as demonstrated again during the joint exercises that Sergeev witnessed on his visit. Any new deliveries would add to the estimated US$1 billion worth of weapons transferred by Moscow to Armenia–presumably for dual use–in 1994-96. Those transfers are of concern also to the U.S. and NATO in the context of the Conventional Forces of Europe (CFE) treaty.
FROM UNION TO ECONOMIC COMMUNITY.