Aliyev Pays $4Billion For Armament


WPS Agency, Russia
August 14, 2013 Wednesday

by Polina Khimshiashvili, Alexei Nikolsky
Source: Vedomosti, No. 146, August 14, 2013, p. 3

Azerbaijan entered the ranks of the leading buyers of Russian military
hardware; Russian-Azerbaijani military cooperation keeps growing. The
overall amount of the contracts signed since 2010 amounted to $4
billion. The countries may sign new contracts too.

The yesterday’s working visit to Baku was the third for Vladimir Putin
since the beginning of his third presidency. Leader of Azerbaijan
Ilham Aliyev does not visit events with participation of the
Russian President very often too. He visited the CIS summit in May
of 2012 after the inauguration of Putin but skipped the CIS summit
in Turkmenistan that followed it up. In the statements that preceded
the meeting aide to the Russian President Yury Ushakov said that
the leaders would discuss the entire complex of bilateral relations
and would sign five or six documents. According to Novruz Mamedov,
deputy director of the administration of the President of Azerbaijan,
Putin’s visit could become not only a good opportunity for development
of relations but also a big event for the entire region.

As a result, as Aliyev announced at a press conference, the parties
discussed all the issues that were of mutual interest including
the topic of Nagorno-Karabakh. According to him, the visit of Putin
demonstrates “how dynamically and successfully our relations develop
and correspond to aspirations of our nations.” He called the relations
“friendly, good neighborly based on mutual interests.” He is also
happy with the way in which relations develop in the political field
and with cooperation in international organizations.

At the press conference Aliyev named the volumes of sales of Russian
armament to Azerbaijan for the first time. According to him, the
current volume of military technological cooperation “is measured
by $4 billion and has a trend of growth” and Azerbaijan entered the
ranks of the leading buyers of Russian military hardware. According to
a source close to the management of Rosoboronexport, the figure named
by Aliyev represents the amount of all contracts signed (and partially
fulfilled) since 2010. Along with this, new contacts may be signed too.

In the response word Putin did not grudge compliments too. According
to him, Azerbaijan is a long-time traditional and reliable partner
of Russia that has the second place in its trade turnover. The first
place is occupied by Italy. Aliyev received Italian Prime minister
Enrique Laeta on the eve of the Putin’s visit.

Expert of the Carnegie Center Alexei Malashenko says that the
smoothness of the statements is explained by the fact that Russia
is interested in preserving of the dynasty of Aliyev as the rulers
of Azerbaijan and does not need any changes that could harm the
established economic and political interests of Moscow. The visit was
performed for protection of Russian interests and he presumed that so
it would be perceived in Armenia quietly. For Aliyev who would have
presidential elections in October the visit of Putin was important too
both due to internal political reasons and for the sake of the dialog
of the US to demonstrate that there was no inclination in relations.

Along with this, Alexander Krylov from the institute of international
economy and international relations remarks that it is difficult to
call the relations of Moscow and Baku absolutely cloudless: last year,
there were disputes about the Gabala radar station that ended with
the fact that Russian stopped lending it, transit of Azerbaijani oil
via the Baku-Novorossiysk pipeline was stopped this year but bearing
in mind the latest foreign policy steps of Armenia (in November it
will sign an agreement on association with the EU – Vedomosti) it was
quite possible that Azerbaijan would undertake new agreements on the
oil pipeline on the terms more beneficial for Russia to demonstrate
its special relations with Moscow to Yerevan.

[translated from Russian]

From: A. Papazian

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