MOSCOW, July 19. /TASS/. Russia is committed to maintaining parity in the supply of military equipment to Armenia and Azerbaijan in the conditions of the intensified Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between the two countries, Director of the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) Alexander Fomin said in an interview to the Izvestia daily published on Monday.
“Conflicts begin regardless of the fact that one side may be armed better than the other,” Fomin said. “However, it is necessary to seek parity, so Russia is taking efforts to maintain parity both in absolute terms and in the quantity and quality of the basic weapons systems”.
Fomin also said that the main purpose of military-technical cooperation is to preserve peace and stability in a given country, in a region and in the world in general. “Russia’s military-technical cooperation system is organized in such a way as to cause no harm, including to a particular region. We make all the decisions on the delivery of arms to one or another country invariably with taking into account such acute regional situations”, he added.
The situation along the line of engagement in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone deteriorated dramatically overnight to April 2 when fierce clashes began. The parties to the conflict accused each other of violating the truce.
On April 5, Azerbaijan’s Chief of Staff Nadjmeddin Sadykov and his Armenian counterpart Yuri Khachaturov met in Moscow with Russia’s mediation. At the talks the sides came to an agreement on cessation of hostilities at the line of engagement between the Azerbaijani and Armenian forces. On the same day, the two countries’ defense ministries announced that the ceasefire regime in Nagorno-Karabakh would start at 12am local time. Since then, the parties to the conflict have been accusing each other of violating the ceasefire agreement.
On May 16, the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan met in Vienna. Serzh Sargsyan and Ilkham Aliyev agreed to “make steps to monitor observance of agreements on ceasefire and introduce a mechanism on investigating incidents.” The participants in the Vienna talks on Nagorno-Karabakh on May 16 that also involved the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents, with mediation of the foreign ministers of the countries co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (Russia, the United States, France) reach an agreement on observing the ceasefire in the region in the format of the 1994-1995 agreements. In addition, the conflict sides agreed to complete as soon as possible the work on the OSCE mechanism for investigating incidents at the line of engagement of the conflict sides.
On June 20, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts Serzh Sargsyan and Ilkham Aliyev adopted a trilateral statement where they expressed commitment to the normalization the situation along the engagement line in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said previously that Russia would continue to supply weapons to Azerbaijan and Armenia as its strategic partners under the corresponding contracts.