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Armenia: Senate Calls For Report On Alleged Arms Shipments

Prague, 16 May 1997 (RFE/RL) - The United States Senate has called for the U.S. President to prepare a special report on whether Yerevan is shipping arms to ethnic-Armenian separatists in neigboring Azerbaijan.

The Senate mandated that the President report by next August 1 on whether Yerevan is transferring conventional armaments and equipment limited by the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty to the separatists in the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave of Azerbaijan.

The Senate resolution also says that if Armenia is violating the CFE, then the President must report what actions the U.S. is taking to implement sanctions.

The required report is one of several conditions attached to the Senate's unanimous approval yesterday of a so-called "Flank Agreement" changes to the 1990 CFE treaty. The changes will allow Russia the flexibility to redeploy its forces along the country's northern and southern borders.

The changes to the actual CFE treaty were negotiated last year and signed by 30 countries. The deadline for signatory countries to ratify the agreement is today.

The Flank Agreement does not change the amount or type of weaponry that Russia can deploy in various places along its border. But it does give Moscow the flexibility in deploying those forces. It also gives Russia the right to negotiate with its neighbors on deploying forces temporarily outside Russian territory.

Moscow had argued the alterations were needed given post-Cold War circumstances. It also demanded a renegotiated treaty in exchange for agreeing to a new accord defining Russia's relationship with NATO due to be signed in Paris May 27.