News 11 september — 11:49

Igor Korotchenko: 'Ilham Aliyev won't yield to blackmail'

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BY ZAUR RASULZADEH

'Certainly, Azerbaijan would be a very valuable partner of the CSTO, if it decided to join this organisation,' told Azeri Daily Editor-in-Chief of the National Defence magazine, Director of the Centre for Analysis of World Trade in Arms Igor Korotchenko, commenting on Azerbaijan's possible accession to the CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organisation).

According to Korotchenko, Azerbaijan is a very important country in the region and its participation in the military integration formations in the region would give an additional impetus to the development of such entities.

'All the more so, Baku would benefit from this in various aspects, including obtaining modern weapons,' he said.

Concerning the question of whether Azerbaijan will receive weapons at domestic prices, just like Armenia, Korotchenko noted that he is generally against the sale of modern Russian weapons at low prices.

'Although Tajikistan, Armenia are sold weapons at low prices, I think this is wrong. Well, we sold weapons to Armenia at low prices, and what response did we get from it? You yourself are witnesses to the attitude of the new 'revolutionary' government towards us. Therefore, I believe that Russia should already be able to speak with all its partner in terms of our interests.

We should not avoid direct talks with our partners on all issues. Azerbaijan is a very valuable partner for us, and we should cherish these relations. Although no one says that it will be easy for Azerbaijan to make a choice in favour of a strategic alliance with Russia, because the West will in every possible way prevent this.

You probably ask whether the West will impose sanctions on Azerbaijan for its close relations with Russia, especially since your country receives its main income from oil, which is extracted by Western companies. I think, it might happen. However, the West has no time for Azerbaijan now, and it will not want to have problems with it either. It will be difficult, but President Aliyev is not one of those leaders who yields to blackmail. If we all stick together, we will not fear any Western blackmail,' he said.

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