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Foreign ministry: Russia not hiding its military-technical cooperation with Armenia

February 25, 2016, 19:32 UTC+3 MOSCOW

On Wednesday Azerbaijan has sent a note of protest to Russian Foreign Ministry over supplying Armenia with weapons

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© Gennady Khamelyanin/TASS

MOSCOW, February 25. /TASS/. Moscow does not hide its military-technical cooperation with Yerevan and asks Baku to treat this with understanding, Russian Foreign Ministry’s official spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a briefing on Thursday.

"We already informed the Azerbaijani side via diplomatic channels that Russia and Armenia are connected by allied relations and develop military-technical cooperation as well," Zakharova said.

"This is a well-known fact. We cooperate without hiding anything — transparently and openly. We hope that Azerbaijan will treat this fact with understanding," she added noting that Moscow takes into account all risks in the region when it supplies weapons.

"Any weapons are delivered to Armenia or friendly Azerbaijan with careful consideration of necessity to preserve the existing balance of power in the region," she said.

On Wednesday Azerbaijan has sent a note of protest to Russian Foreign Ministry over supplying Armenia with weapons. Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry press service head Khikmet Gadzhiev said that supplying Armenia with weapons and military equipment "does not facilitate the settlement of the conflict" around Nagorno-Karabakh. In this respect, Baku "is expecting guarantees from the exporting country" that weapons and equipment will not be deployed along Azerbaijan’s border with Armenia or in Nagorno-Karabakh, he noted.

Nagorno-Karabakh sought independence from Azerbaijan at the end of the 1980s, which resulted in a war between Azerbaijan and Armenia that claimed the lives of 25,000-30,000 people between 1988 and 1994. Since then, the territory has been controlled by Armenia.

The OSCE Minsk Group acts as a mediator. It is a mechanism designed to promote a peace solution to the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh. The group is led by co-chairs France, Russia and the United States. It also comprises Belarus, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Finland, and Turkey, as well as Armenia and Azerbaijan.

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