Accessibility links

Breaking News

Armenia Says NATO Support For Azerbaijan Prompted Pullout

Armenian Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian (file photo)
Armenian Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian (file photo)
YEREVAN -- Armenian Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian says his country's main reason for canceling its participation in the NATO military exercises in Georgia was NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer's support for Azerbaijan, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports.

Ohanian said on May 6 that de Hoop Scheffer expressed his support for Azerbaijan's territorial integrity in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict after talks with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in Brussels last week.

Ohanian added that "the OSCE and its Minsk Group, and many other countries [always] refer to all norms of international law, including peoples' self-determination, territorial integrity, and nonuse of force."

Some observers believe Russia's opposition to the NATO maneuvers was also a big factor in Yerevan's last-minute decision to withdraw.