Use of UK company’s sniper rifles by occupier Armenia causes serious concern

Use of UK company’s sniper rifles by occupier Armenia causes serious concern

Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr.25
By Seba Aghayeva - Trend:

The use of the sniper rifles of UK Accuracy International company by the armed forces of Armenia, which has carried out occupation and aggression against Azerbaijan, causes serious concern, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesperson told Trend.

The UK has already been informed about the serious concern of the Azerbaijani side over this issue through the diplomatic channels, Hikmet Hajiyev, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.

Armenian media recently spread a video which demonstrates British Accuracy International company's sniper rifles used by the Armenian special forces.

Commenting on this issue, the embassy of Great Britain in Baku earlier told Trend that the United Kingdom operates a very strict export licensing policy and enforces OSCE sanctions on sales of military equipment to the parties to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

"The UK has therefore never supplied sniper rifles to Armenia," the embassy said. "We are aware of two rifles being exported from the UK to France under an approved export license (in 2012) which were then exported from France to Armenia and displayed at an Arms Exhibition."

Accuracy International is a British manufacturer of firearms. The company is widely known for producing a series of Accuracy International Arctic Warfare high-accuracy sniper rifles.

The UK states that it applies arms embargo on Azerbaijan and Armenia in accordance with the decision of OSCE and this embargo is enriched in the country's law, said Hajiyev.

"The official report of the UK said that these sniper rifles were sold through a company of other EU country," said the spokesperson. "In this case, the Export Control Organization of UK would have to require end-user certificate."

Hajiyev added that the Azerbaijani side expects that based on the national law, as well as the rules of regulating export control within EU, the producer and exporter country will demand end-user certificate from the Accuracy International and the company which has effected the sale to Armenia and take necessary legal measures.

The representatives of the Accuracy International company told media that they have sold other new types of sniper rifles to Armenia, which causes concern, according to Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesperson.

Armenia uses such kind of offensive weapons in order to continue the occupation and aggression against Azerbaijan, to keep covered the civilians, including women and young children living in the lands close to the contact line of armies, and on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, Hajiyev said.

Armenia's attempts to obtain sniper rifles through various ways, including through the false trading and the "black market" once again prove that this country's statements about alleged withdrawal of snipers from the contact line are groundless and untrue, he added.

Instead of withdrawing its troops from Azerbaijan's occupied territories, Armenia aims to continue the occupation and aggression by making such hypocritical statements aimed at imitating "trust building", Hajiyev concluded.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.

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