TODAY.AZ / Politics

Russian Defense Minister: "No reason to refuse arms to Azerbaijan"

28 January 2006 [18:49] - TODAY.AZ
Russia has no reason to refuse arms supplies to Azerbaijan, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said during his visit to Yerevan, the capital of Armenia.

"I personally signed an agreement on military and technical cooperation between Russia and Azerbaijan several years ago," he said, noting that such cooperation was possible in principle, RosBusinessConsulting reports.

"We have no reason to boycott arms supplies to Azerbaijan or say that Russia will not supply weapons to Azerbaijan. I don’t understand why we should do that, and consider it wrong," he stressed.

Ivanov said Russia did not export offensive weapons capable of destabilizing the situation in any region, either the Trans-Caucasus or the Middle East.

Russia was supplying arms at domestic prices only to the Collective Security Treaty Organization countries, he said. "This is Russia's conscious policy: if we want to make this or that organization attractive, we must give some preferences to its members, and that is what we are doing," Ivanov stressed.

"Since we passed the law on arms supplies to the Collective Security Treaty Organization countries at internal prices, we have already delivered military equipment to Armenia," he said.

Ivanov expressed regret that arms were becoming more and more expensive. "This is because of inflation," he said, adding that it did not allow the Russian armed forces to buy as many arms as it would like.


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