Azerbaijani Defence Ministry Not Concerned about Expansion of Armenia’s Military Budget
Azerbaijan, Baku, 13 May / Trend corr E. Huseynli/ The Defence Ministry of Azerbaijan stated that the expansion of Armenia's defence expenditures is of no concern for Azerbaijan. "The statement of the Armenian Defence Minister on expansion of the country's military budget is intended for internal situation," Eldar Sabiroglu, Spokesperson for Azerbaijani Defence Ministry, said to Trend on 13 May.
On 12 May, the Armenian Defence Minister Seyran Ohanyan said to press that Armenia would expand its military budget. "We must try to expand our military budget to that of Azerbaijan," Ohanyan said.
In 2007, Armenia's public budget allotted 95.8bln drams (some $312mln) to military field, which is by 22.4% more than in 2006.
The public budget of Azerbaijan for 2008 comprised AZN 10.484bln ($12.943bln), with AZN 1.344bln ($1.659bln) allocated to the military field.
Sabiroglu said that Armenia's economic situation cannot enable it to increase its military budget to that of Azerbaijan.
The conflict between the two countries of the South Caucasus began in 1988 due to Armenian territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan lost the Nagorno-Karabakh, except of Shusha and Khojali, in December 1991. In 1992-93, Armenian Armed Forces occupied Shusha, Khojali and Nagorno-Karabakh's seven surrounding regions. In 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement at which time the active hostilities ended. The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group ( Russia, France, and the US) are currently holding peaceful, but fruitless negotiations.
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