Azerbaijani official: Abkhazia and South Ossetia excluded from Moscow-Baku trade
Azerbaijan, Baku, July 19 / Trend /
Abkhazia and South Ossetia have never been the subject of a trade between Russia and Azerbaijan under the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution, Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Araz Azimov said in an interview with the Echo Moskvy radio station.
He assured that Russian representatives have never hinted at the possibility of such an exchange.
Azimov said Azerbaijan does not intend to recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
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 U.S. - are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
Military actions were launched in the unrecognized republic of South Ossetia in August 2008. Georgian troops entered Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia, and later Russian troops occupied the city and drove the Georgian military back to Georgia. Russia recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia on Aug. 26 and established diplomatic relations with these regions on Sept. 9, 2008.