Russia Open for Military Cooperation with Azerbaijan: Ambassador
Azerbaijan, Baku, 8 July / corr Trend S.Agayeva / Russia is prepared to military cooperation with Azerbaijan. "Russia is open for military cooperation with Azerbaijan. However, presenting of any military 'toy' exclusively to Azerbaijan is out of question," Vasiliy Istratov, the Russian ambassador to Azerbaijan, told journalists on 8 July.
The Defense Ministries of Azerbaijan and Russia have an agreement on bilateral cooperation. The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry cooperates with 50 countries.
The ambassador said that Russia is prepared to render maximal assistance to find a solution to the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. However, the military cooperation does not mean military assistance to Azerbaijan in the settlement of the conflict, the diplomat said.
The conflict between the two countries of the South Caucasus began in 1988 due to Armenian territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Since 1992, Armenian Armed Forces have occupied 20% of Azerbaijan including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and its seven surrounding districts. In 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement at which time the active hostilities ended. The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group ( Russia, France, and the US) are currently holding peaceful negotiations.