Moscow to ‘Clarify’ Armenia Arms Deal

BAKU (Combined Sources)–Russia’s Defense Ministry said Tuesday it would “clarify” next Tuesday the details surrounding recent allegations by Azerbaian’s media implicating it in a multi-million dollar arms deal with Armenia, the Defense Ministry’s press office said, Trend News reported.

Azerbaijani media reported on January 9 that arms shipmen’s worth a total of $800 million had been transferred to Armenia from a Russian military base in Gyumri. Armenia’s Defense Ministry on Monday denied the allegations, describing them as “yet another piece of disinformation by Azerbaijani propaganda” unworthy of comment.

Russia’s Defense Ministry also denied the allegations initially made during an interview with Azerbaijani ANS TV in which a spokesman from the Ministry, Alexander Petrunin, alleged the delivery of Russian military hardware in the amount of $800,000,000 to Armenia.

Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry Monday called Russia’s Ambassador in for questioning over the matter. Ambassador Vasiliy Istratov was given an official questionnaire to confirm whether the alleged Arms transfer in fact took place. Istratov, who met with Deputy Foreign Minister Araz Azimov, said for his part, that Russia would soon clarify the issue.
“We are not confirming or refuting the sale as we are working on the issue at the moment,” The Russian Embassy’s press service said.

Azerbaijan will push the issue along with the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict at the February 19 session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Rabiyyat Aslanova, a member of the Azeri delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly told Trend News. “The Azerbaijani delegation will bring up Russia’s ammunition sales to Armenia at the session,” he said.

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