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Route of the forgery: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russian Foreign Ministry, Georgia2009-02-09 18:03
The Azerbaijanian delegation to the OSCE is going to demand investigation over data on a generous arms gift that Russia allegedly had presented to Armenia. It is believed in Tbilisi that Moscow was going to set Armenians against Georgia.
The scandal was triggered by ANS TV (Baku) message in early January stating that at the end of last year Moscow had unsealed the stock of Gyumri military base in the north of the republic to Erevan. Allegedly Armenia obtained arms for overall amount of USD 800 mln - for free. In confirmation of this the channel made reference to the Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Alexander Petrunin who had allegedly admitted the fact. A while later the Azerbaijani internet newspaper "Media forum" presented a copy of a list of arms transferred to Armenia signed by the Deputy Commander of North Caucasus military district Lieutenant General Vyacheslav Golovchsnko.
The list included tanks, infantry combat vehicles, armored carriers, missiles, multi-launch rocket systems, cannons, grenades, trench mortars, small arms etc.
Transcaucasia started buzzing as a disquieted hive. Official Baku filed a note to Russia taking all this as assistance to the aggressor in Karabakh. The Georgian press presented Georgia as a probable victim.
Initially Armenia's Defense Ministry tried to calm the neighbors down stating it was not going to fight with anyone at least because it had received no arms from Gyumri base. The document that aroused this storm is a mere forgery. It cost Russia's Defense and Foreign Ministries a lot of effort to convince the most trustful of the same.
"We consider such news as information provocation", - the acting head of press service and information department of the Defense Ministry Alexander Drobyshevsky stated. He also specified that Colonel Alexander Petrunin had no right to make such comments to any person according to his duties.
Russia's Foreign Ministry's position was expressed by FM Sergey Lavrov at the press conference on January 16. He said that as a result of a thorough investigation carried out by his authority it had been established that this information was contrary to fact.
At first official Tbilisi did not display itself. However local press was full of fantasies.
For instance abkhazeti.info informed that since last October Moscow had been pressing official Erevan for more activity in the direction of Javakhetia region (part of Georgia mostly populated by Armenians). Plainly speaking it had been soliciting to military actions against Georgia.