Hikmat Hajiyev, aide to Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev, said over the weekend that his government is dissatisfied with Russia's response after Azerbaijan accused Moscow of supplying military arms to Armenia after the latest border clashes.
Hajiyev said on Saturday that Russia has been “intensively arming Armenia” with Russian Il-76 strategic airlifters after the July conflict that killed 16 at the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Both sides have long been at odds over Nagono-Karabakh, internationally known as part of Azerbaijan, though mainly populated by ethnic Armenians.
“Russia's statements on this issue still do not fully satisfy Azerbaijan. Our questions remain unanswered,” Hajiyev was quoted as saying after a briefing held in the capital city of Baku.
On 25 August during a visit to Baku, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu
that the cargo transported to Armenia by military planes contained “construction materials” intended for the Russian military base there.
“Until today, Russia has not taken any steps directed against Azerbaijan and no such steps will be taken in the future,” Shoigu was quoted as saying.
Though according to Hajiyev, “construction materials are usually not supplied in airplanes,” as there are other more “effective” means for that.
“After the clashes on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border in July this year, the intensification of military supplies from Russia to Armenia has raised concerns and serious questions in the Azerbaijani society,” an official statement released on 13 August quoted Aliyev as saying after a phone talk with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
According to some political analysts, Azerbaijan should finally be determined in military cooperation with Turkey.
“So far, Baku tried to maintain a balance between Russia and the West. But with the recent cease-fire violation, Baku rightly changed its policies towards Turkey,” Azer Gasimli told Meydan TV adding that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government is interested in strengthening its position not only in the Middle East and Syria, but also in the Caucasus and Central Asia.
Therefore, Baku and Ankara have similar interests in addition to the transportation and energy routes that the latter feels obliged to protect them, Gasimli said.
According to lawmaker Rasim Musabayov, from now on, Baku needs to gradually reduce cooperation with the Russian military-industrial complex.
“Azerbaijan was one of the biggest customers for the Russian military-industrial complex in the post-Soviet space, as nearly 5 billion dollars worth of weapons were purchased from Russia,” Rasim Musabayov was quoted as saying by BBC Azerbaijani Service.
“Russia has no right to be dissatisfied,” Musabayov added.
“For example, if a Turkish military cargo plane lands tomorrow in Baku and Russia is interested in what these planes carry, then Azerbaijan can also answer that they are construction materials.”