Rogozin prolongs the next stage of military-technical cooperation between Russia and Azerbaijan
The visit of the Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin on December 17 in Azerbaijan was aimed to discuss with President Ilham Aliyev issues of military-technical cooperation for 2017. Although there is no official information on this matter, both before the visit and its results, however, media open to information in 2016 it is possible to see a picture of military-technical interests of Russia in Azerbaijan.
The talk is about signing a new long-term contract for the supply of Russian weapons to Azerbaijan. The current contract worth about $5 billion, concluded in 2010, will complete in 2017 by the different kinds of tactical weapons. In second place is the construction in Azerbaijan plants for repair and modernization of helicopters, as well as assembly and modernization of aircraft. And finally, the third important contract for the supply of 10 passenger aircraft MS-21, whose development is located at the finish, it is planned to conclude in February.
Implementation of these projects is experiencing a number of difficulties, among which is the problem of financing, as the projects themselves, and product procurement. Both countries are in a phase of severe financial crisis, which has not yet reached bottom. For example, due to underfunding year Russia has postponed deliveries of armored infantry fighting vehicles, and hampers the term of the launch of MS-21. In addition, Azerbaijan has complaints on the quality of the set of arms, which is also a consequence of the lack of development finance. In turn, Azerbaijan, which has been forced to cut back on its military budget for 2017 in dollar terms almost twice and go to the maximum saving mode, it will be difficult to master the following contracts in the previous financial volume.
Most likely in the first place there was the problem of finding finance for future projects on which the parties have come to a mutually acceptable primary arrangements. This is evidenced by prompt arrival of Rogozin after talks on the Russian-Azerbaijani border, where accumulated about 800 vehicles with agricultural products to Russian consumers. The Azerbaijani side has repeatedly raised the issue of obstacles perpetrated by Russian Customs. And the question has found its solution only now. Probably, Moscow used the border barrier to Azerbaijan as an argument in the negotiation process.
It would be logical to conclude that at the talks in Baku was also discussed the Karabakh problem, the supply of missiles "Iskander" to Yerevan. This topic has been actively discussed by the sides in recent years. Baku in the future, under the new military-technical cooperation would like to see a better understanding of Moscow in the Karabakh conflict within the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. Rogozin’s statement made by him in the spring of this year after a three-day war between Azerbaijan and Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh in April, the unconditional extension of the supply of arms to Azerbaijan, was accepted then as a an understanding by Moscow the actions of the Azerbaijani army. This may mean that the current agreements, with which Rogozin left Azerbaijan, will develop in the hallway of understanding by Moscow the positions of Azerbaijan in the Karabakh issue.
It is noteworthy that Russia did not comment on the readiness of Azerbaijan to purchase the Israeli anti-missile air defense system "Iron Dome", which was mentioned during a recent visit by the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Baku. It also indicates that Israel and Russia do not conflict on the issue of arms supplies to Azerbaijan, which took place so far on a parity basis, and have been involved in three days of the April war. It may mean that the two countries have a similar approach to the role of Azerbaijan in the region, as well as to Baku’s interests in the Karabakh issue.
Turan Analytical Service
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