Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 23
By Gulgiz Muradova - Trend:
The South Caucasus is one of the most highly militarized regions in the world, which is extremely dangerous, said Amanda Paul, Senior Policy Analyst at European Policy Centre (EPC).
Paul made the remark while talking to Trend over news that the Armenian side has approved the deal with Russia on weapons supply to Armenia through a $200 million deal. The Armenian government approved the first $ 100 million loan package, which will be extended to Armenia for 20 years.
Paul stressed that the militarization of Armenia and more broadly the region is not positive, but, Yerevan obviously feels the need to match and outdo Azerbaijani military capabilities.
"The biggest benefactor is Russia because it is Moscow that not only has a military base in Armenia, which allows Russia to project power, it also sells vast amounts of arms to both Armenia and Azerbaijan, declaring that this is part of Moscow’s balanced policy," she wrote in an email to Trend.
Emphasizing that in this respect Russia is contributing negatively to the conflict, Paul noted that more than anything it allows Russian to have a large regional influence.
Armenia, probably best known for occupation of Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized territories and attacks to the neighboring countries, is the aggressor side, while Azerbaijan is the country suffering from Armenia’s aggression for over two decades. Therefore, supplying Armenia with weapons can be regarded as the support to aggression rather than balanced policy between the parties to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Although, Baku is loyal to the Karabakh peace process, Yerevan refuses to fulfill the UN four resolutions on immediate withdrawal from the internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan and continuously resorts to provocations.
Azerbaijan is currently ranked 58th among 133 countries considered for the annual GFP reviews, with power index rating of 0.8875 (0.0000 being perfect). The Armenian Army took the 93rd place.