Interfax, Russia
Jan 27 2009


Envoy to Azerbaijan says document on Russian arms for Armenia "a
forgery"



Baku, 27 January: Russian ambassador to Baku Vasiliy Istratov regrets
that the Azerbaijani media continue to discuss the nonexistent
deliveries of Russian arms to Armenia.

"We wanted to draw a line under this issue with the Russian Foreign
Ministry's reply to the note issued by the Azerbaijani
side. Regretfully, the process goes on," Russian ambassador to
Azerbaijan Vasiliy Istratov told a news conference on Tuesday [27
January].

"It is disconcerting that Baku embarked on resolute actions, issuing a
note, without waiting for an official reply from the Russian side," he
said.

"I cannot understand why the negative experience of Russian arms
deliveries to Armenia in 1996 can completely overshadow everything
positive between our countries in the past six to eight years. I
expect this issue to be finally resoled after a meeting of defence
ministers due in the near future, and later of the Russian and
Azerbaijani foreign ministers. We hope that they will not only draw a
line under it, but also help avoid the emergence of issues of this
kind in the future, because this does not contribute to the
development of bilateral relations," he said.

The ambassador described the document on arms deliveries as a
forgery. "What attracts my attention is that this kind of information
is snapped up and spread immediately in the most negative way. It is
unclear why negative experience dating back 13 years plays the
dominant role in public perception," Istratov said.

The diplomat expressed regret with the fact that, despite an
exhaustive reply by the Russian side, the issue was still being
discussed and "some respected people, MPs, burst out with far-reaching
statements, and diplomats from some embassies, with comments".

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress