Besides Russia, Azerbaijan has also purchased small arms and modern communications equipment from American and Israeli firms. And now it is putting the emphasis on acquiring new aviation equipment for its air force. In 2005 Azerbaijan signed a contract with the Ukraine for the delivery of twelve MiG-29 fighters, two MiG-29UB aircraft, and twelve L-39 training aircraft. It bought twelve Su-25 assault planes (probably Czech) and one Su-27UB from Georgia. Negotiations with the Ukraine for the acquisition of Su-27 fighters and Su-25 assault planes have also been reported, along with modernization in the Ukraine of Azeri Mi-24 combat helicopters by the South African ATE Company’s Super Hind Mk-III program. Besides, Azerbaijan is reportedly looking forward to acquiring new Chinese FC-1 light fighters.
According to the list provided by Moscow Defense Brief, Azerbaijan acquired 106 T-72 main battle tanks from the Ukraine, Belarus, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Georgia in the years of 2002-2006. The list shows that Ukraine holds the first position in delivering military equipment to Baku, which is not surprising, as still in the time of war Kiev used to provide the Azerbaijani Army not only with military equipment, but also with pilots and snipers. What is quite surprising the list also includes patrol cutters: in 2000 one AB-25 patrol cutter was bought from Turkey, in 2003 another Point patrol cutter Azerbaijan acquired from the USA, two Small patrol cutters were delivered from the USA and another 30 from Turkey in the period of 2001-2005. The cutters are assigned for the Caspian Sea and, in all probability, will «protect» the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea against Turkmenistan and Iran, from whose territory Baku pumps oil. However, these are particulars that cannot trouble Azerbaijan. The oil revenues are still enough for part of them to avoid Aliyev’s clan. How much longer can Baku «flourish» with majority of its population starving? In all probability Baku prepares his citizens for war in order to stay away from protests. It is a well-proved practice, but sometimes results prove to be opposite.
Meanwhile, as usual, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry shifts its blames onto others. “The information on acquired Azerbaijani military equipment published in the Russian press is distortion of truth. The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry considers it misinformation dreamed up by pro-Armenian Mass Media in Russia. Such articles are part of the information war, whose aim is to outline Azerbaijan as an aggressive country,” declared the Defense Minister of Azerbaijan at a press conference. However, Baku overlooked something: Moscow Defense Brief is a serious magazine and publishes only truthful information. And the fact that Azerbaijan is an aggressor is already a widely known secret. At the beginning of the year Stockholm Institute for Strategic Studies noted that Georgia and Azerbaijan are the countries with the highest military spending. Moreover, the figures provided by the Russian magazine are even reduced – in fact, Azerbaijan possesses more military equipment. Anyway, all these figures confirm that Baku is not determined to come to a peaceful settlement on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and sets hopes on the power and assistance of Turkey. In the words of Russian expert Alexey Makarkin the Azerbaijani authorities, who keep declaring their military superiority over Armenia, realize that without Turkey’s military assistance they will be unable to try to “bring back under their control” the territories bordering to Nagorno-Karabakh.