Azerbaijan Continues Arms Race


BAKU (PanArmenian.net) — According to an annual report of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Azerbaijan is the sole country in Eastern Europe to continuously increase the volume of arms imports. “Azerbaijan increased its arms imports by 155 percent in 2003-2012,” noted SIPRI experts in the report, citing the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict as the chief reason for the increase.

“Along with Aerostar UAV and Hermes-450, Baku purchased Russian Mi-24 helicopters, as well as Matador and Marauder armored vehicles from South Africa built under license in Azerbaijan,” read the report.

In the past 10 years, Azerbaijan advanced its positions from 48th to 35th in the world list of arms importers.

Meanwhile, the report indicates that Turkey also actively purchased new arms, though not at an increased rate.

Georgia and Azerbaijan signed a plan of defense cooperation in March. During defense talks, Georgian authorities stated that they respect Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, but also expressed their intention to maintain friendly relations with Armenia.