Azerbaijan, Baku, Aug. 25 / Trend M.Aliyev /
Azerbaijan is investigating a military agreement signed last week between Russia and Armenia, which renews Moscow's lease on a military base in Gumri for 24 years.
"Any agreement or treaty signed between Russia and Armenia applies to those countries alone," Presidential Administration Social and Political Department head Ali Hasanov told journalists today. "But the safety of the South Caucasus, and question of the volume of conventional and strategic weapons in the region - these are not problems of just these two states. These matters are governed by a flank agreement in accordance with the OSCE concept on security in Europe. Now our military specialists and OSCE officials are engaged in defining compliance with arms quotas. Following the investigation, the Azerbaijani government will voice its position."
Russia and Armenia signed a protocol last week amending the 1995 bilateral agreement on the Gumri base, extending Moscow's lease by 24 years, RIA Novosti reported. The document was undersigned by the Armenian and Russian defense ministers.
Baku hopes that Moscow will fulfill its commitments on the non-usage of the resources and arms of the base against Azerbaijan, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesman Elkhan Polukhov told Trend earlier.
Hasanov added that Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia and Russia joined the OSCE's flank agreement on the South Caucasus in 1992. The document states the volume of conventional weapons in the South Caucasus, including military equipment, aircraft, tanks and other armored vehicles, as well as arms quotas for each country.
The amount of armaments and military staff in Nagorno-Karabakh has long exceeded the quota. The region is beyond the control of the OSCE, and no organization is monitoring the arms build-up in the breakaway zone. The quota for Armenia includes the Russian military base.
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 seven surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the United States - are currently holding the peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh region and the occupied territories.
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