Lee Litzenberger: The United States does not give weapons to Armenia and Azerbaijan so as not to aggravate the conflict
The United States seeks to help Armenia and Azerbaijan in the search for a peaceful settlement of the conflict, therefore they do not sell weapons to either side, according to Azerbaijan in Focus, reporting Turan News, citing the US Ambassador to Azerbaijan Lee Litsenberger on February 16.
How can one explain that the call of the former US national security adviser John Bolton to Baku and Yerevan to buy American weapons was not realized? Answering this question, the ambassador said: “The main thing is to help Armenia and Azerbaijan achieve peace. Our principled position is not to supply lethal weapons to either side. We also bear responsibility as members of the OSCE Minsk Group. I emphasize that Russia is also a member of the Minsk Group, but it has a completely different attitude towards its obligations, and supplies weapons to both Armenia and Azerbaijan. We do not believe that this is an acceptable way to reach a peaceful settlement,” the ambassador said.
At the same time, he noted that the United States supplies Azerbaijan with means and equipment to solve security issues. In recent years, the volume of these deliveries has exceeded $100 million. These are not weapons, but equipment and means for border protection, monitoring of the national sector of the Caspian Sea, X-ray scanners to prevent smuggling. First of all, this concerns the southern borders of the country, where there is a huge flow of drug trafficking.
“After Azerbaijan regained control over a significant part of the southern borders, the United States provided significant assistance in the supply of equipment to ensure reliable protection of this area. The statistics of the last two years shows a double growth of drugs seized in this area. This is an indicator of how effective this assistance is,” the diplomat said.
Another direction is assistance in ensuring security in the Caspian Sea, in protecting the most important oil and gas infrastructure and oil pipelines. For these purposes, Azerbaijan received coastal radars, amphibious boats and equipment for full monitoring of the national sector of the Caspian Sea, the diplomat said.