Moscow ‘Closely Monitoring’ Turkey-Azerbaijan Military Drills

July 30,  2020

Turkish and Azerbaijan tanks and armored vehicles line a field in Azerbaijan on July 30

“One Nation, Two States,” Says Turkey’s Defense Ministry

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that it was closely monitoring the Turkey-Azerbaijan joint military exercises currently underway on the borders of Armenia and Artsakh.

The exercises, which were announced Monday, are in their second day and come on the heels of Azerbaijan’s brazen attacks on civilian and military targets in Armenia’s Tavush Province, beginning on July 12.

The 13-day drills, involving jets and helicopters, will continue in Baku, Nakhchivan, Ganja, Kurdamir, and Yevlakh until Aug. 10. Ground exercises are scheduled to be held in Baku and Nakhchivan from August 1 to 5 with artillery, armored vehicles, and mortars striking simulated targets.

Turkey’s Defense Ministry Thursday, in a Tweet, shared a video of the military drills, accompanied by the slogan, “One nation, two states,” and emojis of Turkish and Azerbaijani flags.

Aleksey Zaytsev, a Russian foreign ministry spokesperson, said that Russia is closely monitoring the drills.

“We are closely following follow the regional situation, particularly considering the recent confrontation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. We strongly urge the sides to demonstrate restraint, including in their ongoing military activities,” Zaytsev said, reported the TASS news agency.

Aleksey Zaytsev is a Russian foreign ministry spokesperson

He also said that the Russian authorities have taken all necessary measures for preventing further escalation on Armenia-Azerbaijan border.

“Russia was greatly concerned about the border escalation between two of our allies—Armenia and Azerbaijan,” Zaytsev said during a daily briefing.

“We are confident that the long-lasting Karabakh conflict, as well as any other conflict will be solved exclusively peacefully through diplomatic talks. Our position is shared also by the other OSCE Minsk Group Co-chair countries, the U.S. and France, as well as the United Nations, the CIS and other international organizations,’’ added Zaytsev.

He added that Russian authorities have taken all the necessary measures for preventing future escalation, recalling that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has had conversations with his Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts. ‘

“We are ready to continue efforts for establishing political dialogue between Yerevan and Baku,” he said.

After Azerbaijan announced the joint military drills with Turkey, President Vladimir Putin of Russian phoned his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and stressed the importance of avoiding any actions that would escalate tensions.

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