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    Azerbaijan is concerned about possible re-deployment of Russian bases from Georgia to Armenia

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    MOSCOW, June 1 (RIA Novosti) - A possible re-deployment of Russian military bases from Georgia to Armenia will hinder the settlement of the Karabakh conflict, believes chairman of the Union of Azeri associations in CIS countries, leader of the In the Name of Azerbaijan public movement Ilgar Kasymov.

    "At the time when the Karabakh conflict (between Armenia and Azerbaijan on the issue of territorial claims on Nagorny Karabakh - an Armenian enclave in Azerbaijan) has not been settled yet, the re-deployment of troops on the territory of a country that occupied 28% of Azerbaijan will be an irrational step," Kasymov stated during a press conference on Wednesday.

    On May 30, Moscow and Tbilisi reached an agreement on the fate of two Russian bases in Georgia. Starting from the date of signing, the bases in Batumi (Adzharia) and Akhalkalaki (the Dzhavakhetia region of Georgia with a numerous Armenian population) start the withdrawal process. The agreement does not contain any mention of Armenia or self-proclaimed republics on the territory of Georgia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, although, numerous speculations on the issue appeared immediately.

    According to Kasymov, "Russia must seriously think about possible negative consequences of re-deployment of its bases from Georgia to Armenia."

    Speaking about the possibility of the deployment of US bases on the territory of Azerbaijan, Kasymov stated, first, that such deployment contradicts the Azeri legislation and, secondly, any leader must strive for turning the country into an arena of cooperation, instead of turning it into a ground of the fight against external and internal forces."

    According to an Azeri parliamentarian, who is known for his sharp criticism of the current regime, it is hardly possible to conduct democratic relations in Azerbaijan.

    "The political situation in Azerbaijan on the eve of parliamentary elections is such that we cannot consider the possibility of truly democratic elections," Kasymov stated during a press conference on Wednesday.

    He said, at present, opposition parties have limited access to the media, and there is no freedom of public meetings.

    "The opposition laid great hopes on the creation of a public TV network, but these hopes have not materialized yet. Therefore, I believe the talk about democratic elections in Azerbaijan has mostly a declarative character," Kasymov underlined.

    Kasymov also stated there were no preconditions for a "velvet" revolution in the republic today.

    "Despite the presence of many forces that might create the instability in the republic, the country does not have a unified opposition, which would enjoy wide support of the population, contrary to what it was like in Ukraine and Georgia," the politician emphasized.

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