Oskanian Rejects Azeri Allegations That Armenia Nixes Talks

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Azerbaijan kicked up a row over its relations with Armenia because of its bitter disappointment about decreasing prices for oil and several other issues–Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanian said in a televised interview late last week.

The critical statemen’s by Azerbaijan–the row Azeri leaders raised over Armenian-Russian military cooperation–the Karabakh process–the establishment of Nakhijevan compatriotic unions in Armenia–the Khojalu events and some other issues are the consequence of the disappointment caused by the low prices for oil–the departure of foreign oil companies from Azerbaijan and the recent developmen’s in the peace processes around the globe unfavorable to Azerbaijan. In Oskanian’s opinion–similar statemen’s are made in a bid to restore the shattered position of President Aliyev in home affairs.

Oskanian called ridiculous and cynical the Azeri president’s letter sent to the OSCE Minsk Group–in which he–in particular–accused Armenia of hindering the Karabakh peace process. The minister reminded that it was Azerbaijan that had declined the latest proposals by the co-chairmen–while Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh had agreed to assume them as a basis for talks.

Oskanian strongly doubted that either NATO or the US might deploy bases on Azeri soil. This fact is quite realized by Azerbaijan itself. The row has been raised in pursuit of the goal to draw the world’s attention to the Armenian-Russian military cooperation. Stressing that this cooperation is not aimed against any third country–Oskanian said that Armenia would continue to make use of every single opportunity to ensure its security whether through military cooperation with Russia–NATO–as part of the CIS Collective Security Treaty or the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty. Armenia is concerned over the Kurdish problem–the Nagorno Karabakh problem–as well as some tendencies towards polarization being observed within the Commonwealth of Independent States. Armenia deems any progress in the Karabakh peace process and the development of good relations with its neighbors to be a safe guarantee of its national security. Armenia will have to ensure its security using every means to exclude undesirable developmen’s as long as the Karabakh process makes no headway.

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