Russian Ambassador Holds Press Conference

MOSCOW (Itar-Tass)–"Azerbaijan regards Russia as its most important partner," stated Ramiz Rizayev–the Azeri ambassador the Russian Federation Friday.

Speaking at a press conference held on the 5th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries–Rizayev described the agreement signed in April of 1992 as "the first document in the history of the Azerbaijani and Russian states to reflect on an equal basis of the principles of their relationship and lay down the basic guidelines of territorial integrity and the inviolability of borders."

Touching upon the question of unlawful deliveries of arms from Russia to Armenia–Rizayev emphasized "Azerbaijan’s strong and negative attitude towards that" and voiced hope that an inquiry launched on the matter would lead to real results.

Speaking about Azerbaijan’s attitude towards NATO’s eastward expansion plans–Rizayev pointed out that his country is basically against the establishment of any "military blocs or alliances."This is why Azerbaijan "would not like NATO to get enlarged," Rizayev said.

The Russian Ambassador acknowledged the existence of differences in relations between the two states and in particular in their approaches to the Caspian status problem and CIS integration-related matters. However–in his view–the differences are not insurmountable.

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