Azerbaijan Violated CFE Treaty OSCE Says

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–"Neither Armenia–nor Georgia have–on the whole–exceeded the arms quota set for them under the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty–while it is only Azerbaijan which keeps on openly defying the Treaty," Vitaly Danilov–a representative of the International Human Rights Congress operating within the framework of the OSCE–said at a recent news conference in Yerevan.

Danilov announced the text of the IHRC statement issued Thursday–following which during the period from 1992 to 1996 Azerbaijan purchased a great deal of offensive weapons thus exceeding its CFE quota.

According to the statement–the turmoil over Russian arms supplies to Armenia’stirred up by Azerbaijan and its persistent attempts to meddle publicly in the internal affairs of Russia and Armenia have not only a far-going target to reinforce Azerbaijan’s military superiority over its neighbors and act as the only international inspector and gendarme in the region–but are also aimed at impeding the negotiating process on the Karabakh conflict held in Moscow within the framework of the OSCE Minsk group.

According to data submitted by the Azeri leadership to OSCE–in July and August 1992 the Russian Federation gave Azerbaijan 285 tanks–842 armored carriers–346 artillery systems–53 military planes and 8 helicopters.

In May 1993 Russia donated 105 more armored carriers and 42 artillery systems to Azerbaijan.

In the period of 1993-1995 Azerbaijan received 150 tanks and 10 military planes from different countries. In 1996 Azerbaijan purchased sophisticated ground-based missiles.

Moreover–in 1992-1993 Azerbaijan received over one thousand carriages of artillery and tank shells–about 500 carriages of cartridges–a great deal of aircraft bombs and missiles. Azerbaijan also purchased a lot of powerful aircraft bombs and "air-ground" missiles.

According to the statement–because of the number of weapons–Azerbaijan has been the region’s best armed state since 1992–exceeding by far the CFE Treaty quota.

If a comparison were made between Azerbaijan and Armenia–as of late 1996 (taking into account the losses in Nagorno-Karabakh and border incidents) the situation will be as follows: Azerbaijan has 285 tanks–while Armenia has 129; Azerbaijan has 785 armored carriers–Armenia 346; Azerbaijan has 354 artillery systems–while Armenia only 25; Azerbaijan has 53 military planes–and Armenia 6.

It is also said in the statement that most aircrafts given to Azerbaijan are fighters. It is noted that among artillery systems given to Azerbaijan are "Grad" rocket installations with 245 jet shells.

"The organizing committee of the International Congress believes that it is Azerbaijan’s destructive policy aimed at maintaining its military superiority in the region bypassing European agreemen’s–especially offensive arms superiority–which was repeatedly confirmed by Azerbaijan’s resolution not to hesitate to use the most barbaric methods of waging military operations–that produce constant concern for its neighbors and makes them look for possible preventive measures of defense–particularly–to purchase anti-aircraft systems and other defensive means," the statement said.

The document calls on OSCE member-states to take certain diplomatic steps to force Azerbaijan to abide by European treaties on conventional arms–and to conduct a civilized policy in the region based not on duress and blackmail–but on a peaceful negotiating process.

Danilov said that the statement by the International Congress was sent to Russia’s President Boris Yeltsin–Parliament Speaker Gennady Seleznyov–US President Bill Clinton–French President Jaques Chirac–British Prime Minister John Major–German Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl–Ukrainian President Leonid Kouchma–UN Secretary General Kofi Anan–and Levon Ter-Petrosyan.

The IHRC is a public organization–operating in a number of OSCE member-states. The organization was established in 1990.

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