by Ashot Safaryan
Last week, the British Minister for Europe, David Lidington, announced to Parliament that the British government will continue to apply the OSCE embargo to the supply of military list equipment to military, police and security forces and related governmental entities, where this equipment could be used in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, or on the land border between Azerbaijan and Armenia, commonspace.eu reported.
In his statement the Minister said,
The South Caucasus is an area of strategic importance to the UK. In partnership with Armenia and Azerbaijan the UK continues to work for peace, security and mutual understanding in the region. In the 2012-13 financial year, the UK funded ?1.245 million worth of projects to promote peace between Azerbaijan and Armenia. On Nagorno-Karabakh we have funded a series of projects designed to strengthen the likelihood of a peaceful resolution of the conflict by working with civil society in Armenia, Azerbaijan and NagornoKarabakh. We strongly support the work of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe's (OSCE) Minsk Group to find a peaceful and lasting resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. It is for this reason that the UK continues to adhere to the embargo on deliveries of military list equipment to forces engaged in combat in the Nagorno-Karabakh area in accordance with the precursor to the OSCE, the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe's declaration of 1992.
The decision has been welcomed by all those who would like to see a swift and peaceful resolution to the Karabakh conflict. The British Government decision contrasts sharply with the present policy of the Russian government to flood the region with arms. These are supplied to Armenia in the framework of a military agreement through which Russia maintains military bases on Armenian territory, and to Azerbaijan against cash payments. Only a few days ago it was announced that Russia was presently delivering large quantities of attack helicopters to Azerbaijan as part of a contract. In 2010, Azerbaijan and Russia signed an agreement through which the Russian side agreed to supply Azerbaijan with 24 Mi-35M and 40 Mi-8, Mi-17 and Mi17V1 helicopters.