Since regaining its independence in 1991, Azerbaijan set a target to increase the capability of its Armed Forces. Being a former Soviet country with an outdated industry, Azerbaijan has significantly developed and diversified its military industry since the end of the first Nagorno-Karabakh war. Throughout these years, Azerbaijan has done a lot to acquire international experience in the military industry.
At the beginning of the 2000s, official Baku adopted a new military policy, which would allow it to strengthen its military/defense industry. While oil-gas contracts brought billions of dollars and further foreign investments to Azerbaijan, the country’s military budget has implicitly increased between 2004 and 2012 years. As a part of this policy, in 2005, the Azerbaijani government established the Ministry of Defense Industry, which targeted to modernize the Soviet-era weaponry (mostly BMP, BRDM) in the balance of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces, and oversee arms manufacturing.Oxumağa davam et Azerbaijan: From a Country with Soviet-Era Industry to a Weapons Exporter→
This past January, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev attended a session on “The Silk Road Effect” at the 2017 World Economic Forum in Davos, alongside Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili (President.az, January 19). Presumably, the intention of both leaders was to promote the importance of the new China-led “Silk Road Economic Belt” project and its role in the future development of the economy and infrastructure in the South Caucasus. As a source of and as a transit corridor for strategic global resources such as oil and natural gas, as well as the intersection of important transportation routes between the East and West as well as the North and South, the South Caucasus holds great geostrategic importance. While a relatively low priority for China during the early 2000s, more recently the South Caucasus has become an area of great interest as an extension of the highly ambitious Chinese Silk Road project, which aims to connect Europe and East Asia via new roads and railways across the Eurasian landmass. Oxumağa davam et Baku-Beijing Relations and China’s Growing Interest in the South Caucasus→
On February 25, Armenian troops alongside allied separatist forces in Karabakh attempted to carry out sabotage in the Khojavend – Fizuli sector of the Nagorno-Karabakh line of contact (LoC) that separates Azerbaijani – Armenian military zones. While around five Azerbaijani soldiers were killed, the latest flare-up in the frontline demonstrated the ever-present risk of a new wider escalation of the conflict. As a result of the deadly ongoing skirmishes in the frontline, the bodies of the killed Azerbaijani soldiers remained in the neutral zone between two sides including Major Agshin Abdullayev and Senior Lieutenant Tural Hashimli. It took two days before Azerbaijan has removed the bodies of servicemen from the neutral zone.
On 8th of February of 2017, a plane carrying Russian travel-blogger Alexander Lapshin landed at Baku International Airport. Alexander Lapshin, who was detained in Belarus a month ago at the request of Azerbaijan, is charged with violating the country’s legislation by illegally visiting occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region.
The construction of a railroad connecting Armenia with Iran was first promised by Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan in an address to the National Assembly (parliament) in October 2008. Financing the construction, however, was a problematic issue: while Iranian officials confirmed the commitment to build a link connecting Iran’s existing railroad network to the Armenian border, a considerably larger investment would be required to carry out the construction on the Armenian side. The estimated cost of building the Armenian section of the railroad is about $3.2 billion, which does not include the costs of land acquisition and customs duties on equipment. The project’s entire cost is on a level comparable to Armenia’s annual budget. Clearly, the lack of financial resources, as well as, necessary political willpower, also can be seen as a reason behind the non-implementation of the project. Oxumağa davam et Is the Iran – Armenia railway project an illusion?→
Baku is seeking out increased defense imports from Pakistan, including JF-17 aircraft.
Azerbaijan and Pakistan have a unique political relationship that has surpassed territorial boundaries and geographical distances. Pakistan was among the first states to recognize Azerbaijan’s independence following the 1991 Soviet collapse. Today, Pakistan is the only country that has not established diplomatic relations with Baku’s main foe, Armenia. The bilateral strategic cooperation between these two countries embraces the economic, cultural, political, and especially defense fields. Taking into account their close ties, the current level of military cooperation between Azerbaijan and Pakistan needs to be emphasized. While Azerbaijan’s defense industry has strategic relations with various countries, Baku has been seeking ways of expanding military cooperation with Pakistan in particular over the last years.
On 5th of May, following a private trilateral meeting in Qabala city, Azerbaijani Defence Minister, Colonel-General Zakir Hasanov, Georgian Defence Minister Tinatin Khidasheli and Turkish National Defence Minister Ismet Yilmaz agreed to hold joint military exercises on enhancing the combat readiness of the three countries armed forces in order to achieve the further development of trilateral cooperation on regional security. Simultaneously, the trilateral military activities, which arose huge concerns in neighbouring Oxumağa davam et Why does Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Georgia strengthen military cooperation?→