Zatulin Remarks Not Authorized, Deputy Chair of Duma Defense Committee Says

Andrey Krasov, the First Deputy Chairman of the Russian Duma Defense Committee, told Russian news agency, RIA Novosti on October 22 that senior lawmaker Konstantin Zatulin was not authorized to comment on sending airborne troops to aid Armenia through the Georgian airspace, as it does not reflect the official position of State Duma and its Defense Committee.

Krasov noted that at the moment, the Russian Defense Ministry does not plan using Russian military forces in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone.

Zatulin said on October 21 that Russia has “to make it abundantly clear to Georgia that if need be, it should calmly accept that the necessary [Russian] forces and means will be sent to Armenia through its airspace.”

The National Security Council (NSC) of Georgia said earlier on October 3 amid renewed Armenia-Azerbaijani clashes over Nagorno-Karabakh, that “since the inception of escalation, [Tbilisi] temporarily suspended the issuance of permits for transiting military cargo through its territory in the direction of both countries, be it by air or land.”

Yerevan, which is part of Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), may request Russia’s military assistance if the territory and sovereignty of Armenia is threatened, but the military bloc’s commitment to Armenia does not cover fighting on the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.

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