Russian military maneuvers in Caspian, amid the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict

Russia announced Friday that its navy has begun military exercises in the Caspian Sea, north of Baku, insisting that there is no threat to neighboring countries at a time when Armenia and Azerbaijan are fighting battles to control Nagorny Karabakh. .

The military exercises are taking place in the northern Azerbaijani Absheron Peninsula, where Baku is located, and will include rocket and artillery fire, according to a statement by the Ministry of Defense.

Six ships, seven aircraft and more than 400 soldiers are taking part, according to the source.

The Russian ministry added that "activities ... do not pose any threat and do not impose restrictions on the economic activities of the countries bordering the Caspian."

Russia has so far stood at the same distance from Azerbaijan and Armenia in their war to gain control of the Armenian-dominated Nagorno Karabakh region, which separated from Baku in the 1990s.

Last week, Moscow sponsored a ceasefire between the two sides, which was soon violated.

But Armenia, unlike Azerbaijan, is a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a military alliance led by Moscow, and has expressed hope for support from Russia.

At a time when the protesters are still pressing the Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko after disputed elections, the "Collective Security Treaty Organization" forces participate in joint military exercises this week also in Belarus.

The exercises, with the participation of peacekeepers of the organization, are taking place in the Vitebsk region in eastern Belarus, and are called "brothers that cannot be destroyed."


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