Russian Arms Deals Will Not Effect Karabakh Talks

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–National Assembly Speaker Babken Ararktsian met with the Speaker of the Council of Federation of Russia Yegor Stroyev in Moscow Wednesday.

At a news conference after the meeting–Stroyev said that the scandal over the Russian weapons supply to Armenia will not have an effect on Russia’s participation in the Karabakh negotiations. He said that Russian President Boris Yeltsin had ordered the Prosecutor’s Office to investigate the alleged illegal weapons supply.

Stroyev said that a new Armenian-Russian Union treaty should not be signed in a hurry because there was still work underway and changes were still being introduced.

"Don’t forget that Armenia is not an alien country for us. It is close to us both spiritually and mentally. It is the only country supporting our position towards NATO. Armenia adopted Christianity in the 4th century–Russia in the 10th–so we are of the same religion," Stroyev said.

He said that the surplus in food production in all regions of the Northern Caucasus of the Russian Federation will be shared with Armenia because they (Armenia) are paying three times as much for imported food products from abroad.

Ararktsian said that Armenia and Russia are on such good terms that the alleged weapons scandal would not have an effect on them. Ararktsian said that among other problems he discussed with Stroyev were the possibilities of settling the Karabakh conflict within the guidelines of the Commonwealth of Independent States Interparliamentary Assembly.

The Bishkek agreement was signed at this Assembly in 1994. The signing of the agreement is the reason why there has been three years of peace in Karabakh.

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