Serbia makes excuses to Azerbaijan for controversial arms shipments to Armenia

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Serbia’s Deputy Prime Minister Rasim Ljajic confirmed Friday his country had delivered arms to Armenia.

Ljajic said Serbia approved two contracts in May and June for the export of weapons to Armenia.

“In 2020, in May and June, Serbia approved two contracts for the export of weapons to Armenia and it was ammunition for rifles and pistols. In the earlier period, in 2015, I think that there were also exports of this type of weapon,” Ljajic said to Radio Free Europe (RFE).

He added that Serbia was well within its rights in doing so because Armenia was not under the sanctions of the United Nations, OSCE, European Union or any other organization.

Earlier this week, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry summoned Serbia’s charge d’affaires in Baku Danica Veinovic over reports of ammunition supplies to Armenia.

“We want to understand the reasons for such steps. Investigations in the area of the Azerbaijani-Armenian border have shown that the weapons from which civilians and the Azerbaijani army were fired upon are of Serbian origin. The country that produces weapons is responsible for their use,” Azerbaijan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Khalaf Khalafov said.

Meanwhile, Belgrade justified the sale on the basis it had been conducted supplied by a private company.

“Private companies have supplied weapons to Armenia. State-owned arms companies operating in Serbia were not involved in these deals. I can’t say the names of these companies. Their total cost was less than a million euros,” Ljajic said.

On July 12, the Armenian army violated a cease-fire and attacked Azerbaijani border positions with artillery fire, and later withdrew after losses when Azerbaijan’s army pushed back.

During its aggression, Armenia killed 12 Azerbaijani soldiers, including high-ranking officers, while wounding four.

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