German defence firm Rheinmetall considers business with Azerbaijan
DUESSELDORF, Germany, June 27 (Reuters) – German defence group Rheinmetall said on Wednesday it was studying business opportunities with Azerbaijan, which for more than two decades has been subject to an international arms embargo.
The Duesseldorf-based firm, which makes armoured tracked vehicles and large caliber weapons, said any dealings with the former Soviet republic would not circumvent export controls or arms embargos.
“In a statement of intent, both sides have agreed to examine opportunities for cooperation,” Rheinmetall said. “The agreement explicitly states that only services that do not fall under embargo rules will be delivered.”
The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 1992 imposed an embargo on all weapons and ammunition deliveries to Azerbaijan and Armenia.
The two former Soviet republics have regularly traded accusations of violence around the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region since a ceasefire was brokered in 1994, three years after fighting between ethnic Azeris and Armenians first erupted.
German weekly magazine Stern first reported Rheinmetall’s plans to cooperate with Azerbaijan. (Reporting by Anneli Palmen Writing by Andreas Cremer Editing by Edmund Blair)
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