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Azerbaijan/Armenia: Armenia Accused Of Violating Ceasefire

Prague, 20 February 1997 (RFE/RL) - Azerbaijan today accused Armenia of violating a 1994 ceasefire that halted hostilities in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Azerbaijan's President Heidar Aliyev today told RFE/RL that he considers Armenia to have violated the ceasefire by obtaining weapons illegally from Russia. Aliyev said a "crime" had been committed as about 80 tanks were supplied Armenia, and he said Armenia had also used the ceasefire to strengthen its defense capabilities.

Concluding a two-day visit to Baku, Georgia's President Eduard Shevardnadze also told our correspondent that an investigation is underway in Georgia to determine if the tanks had been transferred to Armenia from Russian bases in Georgia.

Russia's State Duma is reported to have opened an investigation of its own into the allegations of an arms transfer to Armenia.

Recently, Russia's Deputy Prime Minister responsible for CIS relations, Aman Tuleyev, said Russia had secretly transferred the tanks to Armenia, in violation of arms limits imposed by the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty.