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Aliyev Says Russian Military Supplies To Armenia Raise Concerns In Azerbaijan


Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev during their meeting in Moscow, Russia, Sept. 1, 2018

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has expressed his dissatisfaction with what he says was the fresh delivery of Russian military supplies to Armenia in the weeks that followed the latest deadly fighting along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border in July.

In a statement released on Thursday, the press service of the Azerbaijani leader said that Aliyev raised the issue during his telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin last night.

It said that the conversation was initiated by Aliyev to discuss the issue of military supplies to Armenia.

According to the statement, Aliyev claimed that beginning on July 17, when the situation at the Armenian-Azerbaijani border began to deescalate, “Moscow has supplied about 400 tons of military supplies to Armenia.”

“The deliveries were made through the territories of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Aliyev said, as quoted by his press service, adding that military supplies to Armenia raise “serious concerns and questions among the Azerbaijani public.”

The Kremlin also issued a statement on the August 12 telephone conversation between Putin and Aliyev, but it did not mention the discussion of the issue of military supplies.

“The presidents discussed regional issues within the context of the tension along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border in July. The Russian side stressed the inadmissibility of any action that would lead to the escalation of the situation,” the Kremlin said in its statement.

Armenian officials have not commented on the Azerbaijani president’s statements yet.

At least five Armenian servicemen and 12 Azerbaijani servicemen, including a general, were killed during several days of fighting that erupted along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border on July 12 and proceeded with the use of heavy artillery and drones.

In the wake of the clashes the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in which Russia acts as a co-chair along with the United States and France urged Armenia and Azerbaijan to restart peace talks aimed at resolving the decades-long conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenia hosts a Russian military base and is a member of the Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organization that entitles it to receive armaments from Russia at knock-down prices. It is believed that since 2011 Azerbaijan has purchased from Russia up to 4 billion dollars’ worth of arms, including some modern offensive weapons.

After the July border escalation Azerbaijan also criticized Serbia for supplying weapons to Armenia.

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