Russia Appeals to Azerbaijan for Assistance in Withdrawing Additional Military Equipment from Georgia
Azerbaijan, Baku /corr. Trend E.Huseynov / The Government of Russia has appealed to Azerbaijan for assistance in transporting additional consignments of arms and military equipment from Georgia to Russia. Currently talks are being held at Inter-Governmental level concerning the transportation of two more consignments, a source stated from Azerbaijan's Embassy in Georgia.
The agreement between Azerbaijan and Russia on the transportation of the Russian military property and equipment via the territory of Azerbaijan has been reached last year at Inter-Governmental level. Thus, last year part of the Russian military base in Georgia was withdrawn from Georgia. In addition, part of the Russian military equipment was transported to the Russian military base No, 102 in Armenia's city of Gurmy.
According to the agreement between Russia and Azerbaijan, between May and August 2007, generally 13 Russian military consignments will be withdrawn from Georgia. On 12 July the 9th part of railway consignment with Russia's military base No 12 in Georgia's city of Batumi was transported.
The Russian-Georgian agreement of the withdrawal period of the Russian military bases and other military facilities of the Group of Russian Military Troops in Caucasus had been signed on 31 March 2006.
Russia sent its military base No 62 located in Georgia's city of Akhalkalaki three weeks ago. The Defense Ministry of Russia stated that according to the agreement between Georgia and Russia, the second and final Russian military base No 12 in Batumi should be closed in 2008. The Deputy Defense Minister of Russia, Army General Vladimir Isakov, said earlier that transporting the military equipment via Azerbaijan provides an opportunity for Russia to accelerate the withdrawal of the troops and decrease expenses of the Russian Defense Ministry.
Azerbaijan permitted Russia to use its territory to withdraw military equipment from the region, fearing that large section of the troops may be transported to the Russian military bases in Armenia and used against Azerbaijan in violation of the ceasefire agreement reached in 1994 and re-outbreak of the military operations between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
Russian military base No 102 has been located in Armenia since the Soviet period. There are no Russian military bases in Azerbaijan. Russia is also participating in the settlement of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan which has resulted in the death of nearly 25,000 people from both sides. Armenia has occupied 20% of the Azerbaijani land including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven districts of the country surrounding it. Since 1992 to the present time, these territories have been under the occupation of the Armenian Forces.