Zhirinovsky Lands in Armenia

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Late on Sunday–after being denied landing in Azerbaijan–the Zvartnots airport of Yerevan accepted an airplane carrying a Russian delegation led by Russian Parliament member Vladimir Zhirinovsky–Chairman of the Liberal-Democratic Party of Russia. The plane was transporting 12 tons of medical supplies to Iraq.

On Monday–the Russian delegation met with Armenia’s Parliament Speaker Khosrov Harutiunian and other Members of Parliament.

During the meeting Zhirinovsky said–"We conform that neither Moscow–nor Yerevan are supporters of aggression–such steps are taken by other countries which seize other states’ lands and threaten to bomb the capitals of other countries–using various pretenses for that purpose. This is not only beyond the limits of international legal norms–but is also viewed as a crime by an ordinary criminal code."

According to Zhirinovsky–that meeting may be of historic importance–because "we showed the entire world that we are ready to abide by international legal norms. Let those people in New York–Paris–Berlin think of their attitude to the tense situation when voicing their willingness to provide their airfields to bomb other countries. And–Armenia provides its airport for delivering humanitarian aid to another state. That means Moscow sends medical supplies to Iraq–and the United States wants to bomb Iraq. Yerevan allows a Russian plane with deputies aboard to land there–and Germany permits US planes to deliver bombs to the Middle East."

Zhirinovsky said all this testifies to the fact that Armenia is truly a long civilized state–because only a state of such civilized tradition is capable of demonstrating such high political maturity.

Speaking of the current internal political situation in Armenia–Zhirinovsky said that those who think that the latest events are viewed in Russia as a coup are mistaken. Russia understands the Armenian people’s need for a shift in power–he said–and added that the power shift happened in a democratic way.

As for the Karabakh conflict–Vladimir Zhirinovsky said that he advocates historical justice and that everything should be done to restore it. "If the US helps Jews gather in Israel–why shouldn’t Russia help 10 million Armenia’s spread all over the world gather in their home country. Human rights and all norms must apply to all people without exception," Zhirinovsky said.

Armenian Parliament Speaker Khosrov Harutiunian noted that the entire world community follows the events in Iraq and every state is interested in the peaceful resolution of the crisis. Every initiative to help the peaceful solution should be welcomed–Harutiunian said.

As for the Karabakh problem–Harutiunian underlined that Armenia’supports a peaceful settlement which would be possible via negotiations. He assured that both Armenia and Karabakh will demonstrate a constructive approach in the negotiations under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group.

The Speaker also stressed that the main trends of Armenia’s foreign policy–especially–cooperation with Russia will not change. Even if there are changes–they will be aimed at deepening and expanding cooperation.

Haroutiunian again confirmed that the shift of authorities happened within the limits of Armenia’s Constitution which testifies to the political maturity of the Armenian public and political forces.

He emphasized the importance of the forthcoming presidential polls–saying that all political forces will do everything possible to ensure an atmosphere of freedom and justice during the elections. "It is very important for us that the new president be elected by a real majority of the people," Harutiunian said.

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