YEREVAN—Investigations are underway on the illegal supply of Czech-made arms to Azerbaijan from Slovakia, said Armenia’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tigran Balayan during a press briefing on Tuesday, reported Armenpress.
Balayan said that last year the Armenian foreign ministry has undertaken significant steps on this matter through its diplomatic representatives in Slovakia and the Czech Republic, whose authorities have assured Armenia that investigations are underway on the illegal weapons supplies.
“Our ambassador in Slovakia at the moment is holding a very important meeting. Thank God, people with suspect reputation are unaware of the details of these efforts, and I would advise you not to pay attention to the reports and remarks from those people. I think they do that in order to attract attention,” said Balayan.
“The problem is that the certificate of the final use of these arms supplies is issued to one country, but the weapons appear in another country which is a gross violation of the relevant European Union regulations. We hope the investigation will be completed soon, and the guilty parties will be punished,” added Balayan.
The Slovak Spectator published a report revealing that the airport of Bratislava, Slovakia’s capital, was being used as a transit point for smuggling Czech rocket launchers and howitzers to Azerbaijan. The article mentions that taking into account the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, there is a ban on export of weapons from Slovakia to Azerbaijan, a ban which has in effect been violated. The weapons are reportedly produced by the Czechoslovak Group holding, owned by Czech arms dealer Jaroslav Strnad.