Baku’s Military Spending Surged 493% In 9 Years


Friday, April 18th, 2014

Russian made tanks and helicopters on display during military exercises
last week in Nakhichevan

BAKU–According to a report a report released by a leading arms
observation group on Monday, Azerbaijan is second in the ranking of
nations with sharpest increase in military spending, registering a
493 percent increase from 2004 to 2014.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said in its
report that while countries like the United States are cutting
military spending, a staggering number of countries around the world
were doubling their military capabilities.

The report attributed Azerbaijan’s spike in military expenditures to
the ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Baku Eyes More Weapons from Russia An aide to Azerbaijan’s Defense
Industry Ministry, Azad Mammadov, was quoted by Itar-Tass news
agency on Thursday as saying that Baku was looking forward to the
participation of Russia’s arms exporter in an international arms
exhibit slated to take place in Baku in Septemeber.

Mammadov expressed hope that relations with Rosoboronexport will
yield more military purchases for Azerbaijan.

Mammadov emphasized that Russia has already sold Azerbaijan
more weapons than any other country, including Turkey. He listed
sophisticated Russian tanks, armored vehicles, artillery systems and
attack helicopters supplied to Azerbaijan’s armed forces. Azerbaijan
has also started the licensed manufacturing of Russian-designed AK-74M
assault rifles, the official said, reported RFE/RL.

Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev said in August that the total
volume of Russian-Azerbaijani defense contracts is “measured at
$4 billion and tends to grow further.” He spoke two months after it
emerged that Russia has begun delivering $1 billion worth of offensive
weaponry, including about 100 tanks, to the Azerbaijani army.

The disclosed supplies raised eyebrows in Armenia, with local
politicians and pundits accusing Moscow of acting against the spirit
of the Russian-Armenian military alliance. Russian security officials
dismissed the criticism.

General Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the Russian army’s General
Staff, signaled Moscow’s readiness to sell more weapons to Azerbaijan
when he visited Baku earlier this month. Gerasimov told Azerbaijan’s
Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov that “there are prospects for stepping
up” bilateral military-technical cooperation.

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