Zhirinovsky's opinion on Nagorno-Karabakh not reflects Kremlin's position: Russian MP
Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 16 / Trend , E.Tariverdiyeva/
Vladimir Zhirinovsky's opinion on Nagorno-Karabakh, stated in an interview with News-Armenia in no way reflects the Kremlin's position, believes Sergei Markov, member of the Russian Federal Assembly State Duma of the fifth convention, member of the United Russia faction.
"Vladimir Zhirinovsky is not a pro-government official, but a representative of opposition parties. He does not express the position of the Russian government and authorities, but only a small opposition group, which received minimum seats in the Duma," Markov told Trend over telephone from Moscow. "Zhirinovsky's opinion is shared by a tiny minority of Russia's voters."
Deputy Chairman of the Russian State Duma, Leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, Vladimir Zhirinovsky said in his interview with News-Armenia that the Nagorno-Karabakh is the native Armenian lands. "And if we help to return them to Azerbaijan, it will again be a confrontation between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Talk with them about the federation, that it will be broad autonomy - is the same question, as with the Abkhazians and Ossetians," he said.
Zhirinovsky's position is known ever since as he sat in a Turkish prison: he took a pro-Armenian, anti-Turkish and anti-Azerbaijani position, said Markov.
"He does it with great advantage for him, given the strength of the Armenian business-Diaspora in Russia, the United States and France, with which, I think, he interacts," said Markov. "I am not aware of any specific details, but knowing the general context of the relations, I think that the pro-Armenian position brings benefits to Vladimir Zhirinovsky and strongly works for him and his party."
Markov said Zhirinovsky's position is absolutely not the position of the Kremlin.
"Russia supports the position of the gradual rapprochement of the parties and finding the maximum of compromise," he said.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding districts. Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the U.S. - are currently holding the peace negotiations.