Chernomyrdin Dispels Need for Russian Azeri Confrontation

MOSCOW (Itar-Tass)–Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin said he sees no reasons for confrontation between Russia and Azerbaijan.

Speaking at a press conference after a meeting of the Advisory Council for Foreign Investmen’s in Moscow–on Monday–Chernomyrdin said–"I cannot agree with assertions that Russia’s relations with Azerbaijan have worsened."

He said relations between the two countries "are normal. We are working in many areas."

The prime minister admitted that there are some unresolved problems between Russia and Azerbaijan.

On the development of oil fields in the Azeri section of the Caspian Sea–Chernomyrdin noted they have been developed for a long time with the participation of foreign companies–including ones from the US.

"There has been much fuss lately about the route of oil transportation–northern or some other–from Azerbaijan," Chernomyrdin said–adding that the decision on this issue will be "made by the oil owner."

The prime minister said that Russia’s position on this issue is that "if we are invited–we will work and build. Where the pipeline will pass and who will build it will be decided not by politics but by the economy."

He stressed that there are no "reasons for confrontation over the questions raised by the Azeri leadership with regard to supplies of some Russian equipment to Armenia."

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