Oskanian to Meet Ivanov on Karabakh Issue

YEREVAN (Itar-Tass)–Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian will arrive in Moscow for a working visit on Sunday to meet his Russian counterpart Igor Ivanov concerning the issue Nagorno Karabakh–well-informed diplomatic sources told Itr Tass on Thursday.

Oskanian and Ivanov will discuss bilateral cooperation and the latest proposals of the OSCE Minsk group concerning the settlement of the years-long Armenian-Azeri dispute over Nagorno Karabakh.

The ministers will also discuss military cooperation–having in mind a recent critical remark by the Azeri Foreign Ministry on Russian-Armenian military relations.

The agenda is not ready yet–and no documen’s are expected to be signed. Oskanian is planning to conclude his visit on Tuesday.

The new MIG-29 fighters–recently stationed in Armenia–have taken off for their first patrol missions–a military official told Itar-Tass on Thursday.

The new planes are part of the aviation group at a Russian military base stationed in the republic–the head of Russia’s operations group in Armenia–Aleksei Tretyakov said.

The re-armament at the base has been checked by commander of the North Caucasus military district Viktor Kazantsev.

Kazantsev met with Armenian Defense Minister Vazgen Sarkisyan to discuss the results of military cooperation in 1998 and joint events due to be held next year.

The five fighters were flown to Yerevan on December 16. "This signifies a new quality of patrol missions within the joint air defense system of the Commonwealth of Independent States," said Col.-Gen. Anatoly Kornukov who was in the Armenian capital to see the planes.

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