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Belarus sold weapons to Azerbaijan for years
Military equipment of Azerbaijan / aa.com.tr
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Alyaksandr Lukashenka recently stated that "for the past six months, no military supplies have been delivered to either Azerbaijan or Armenia through the military-industrial complex." It is difficult to check whether this is really so: the weapons belong to the so-called closed export groups, their trade is classified.
However, if you look at the available data on exports to Azerbaijan for the first half of 2020, you will notice that in January, February, April and June, the total amount and the volume of exports by “open” groups differ greatly. This means that a large part of the supplies to Azerbaijan remains in the hidden groups.
Hidden exports worth $ 30 million
In January 2020, exports to Azerbaijan amounted to $ 13.6 million, but only 7.4 million passed through open groups. What was exported for $ 6 million is classified information.
In February, total exports amounted to $ 31.5 million. At the same time, there are only 14.8 million worth of weapons in open groups. The difference is 16.7 million.
In April, a total of 14.7 million were exported. For open groups, it is two times less -- 7.8 million.
It cannot be argued that it was the arms that were supplied through the hidden export groups. Various “dual-use goods”, products of the military-industrial complex, the aviation industry,and much more are hidden in the export statistics.
Don't make my "Polonezes" laugh
Even if we assume that over the past six months Belarus really did not supply weapons to Azerbaijan, our country was already noted for a constant supply of weapons to the Transcaucasian republic.
Ten Polonez missile systems were sold to Azerbaijan two years ago, in 2018. Most of the information about the Polonezes is classified.
The deal figure did not appear in public space. Together with multiple launch rocket launchers, missiles, transport-loading vehicles, a command post, and radar stations were delivered.
On the ground and in the air
According to the UN Register of Conventional Arms, Belarus delivered 153 T-72 tanks to Azerbaijan from 2005 to 2012.
Eleven Su-25 attack aircraft were delivered from 2009 to 2012. The contract sum was not disclosed.
From 2008 to 2009, Belarus supplied Azerbaijan with twelve self-propelled artillery mounts “Pion”, caliber 203 mm.
In 2017, 26 "Hyacinth-B" howitzers were sold, caliber 152 mm.
In addition, from 2010 to 2011, Azerbaijan purchased 120 D-30 122 mm howitzers from Belarus.
"Shershen" and "Osa" are Azerbaijani friends
In 2007, a contract was signed for the modernization of the Azerbaijani air defense systems "Osa-AKM" to the level of "Osa-1T". The Belarusian company “Tetraedr” was engaged in modernization. A total of 36 air defense systems were modernized to the level of "Osa-1T".
In 2013, at a parade in Baku, Azerbaijan demonstrated Buk-MB anti-aircraft missile systems -- a Belarusian modernization of the Soviet Buk-M1 complex. In total, it was planned to deliver two divisions of those. In 2014, the Azerbaijani army received the second one.
Belarusian specialists were also engaged in the modernization of the S-125 air defense system to the level of "Pechora-2T". According to the Center for Analysis of World Arms Trade, in 2014 Azerbaijan received nine divisions which is 27 launchers. Under two contracts, a total of 54 anti-aircraft missile systems were modernized to the C-125 Pechora-2T level.
Other little things
In 2011, Belarus sold 60 BTR-70s to Azerbaijan.
In 2018, it was reported that the Azerbaijani army received Belarusian electronic warfare stations "Groza-S", which are designed to detect and determine the direction of UAVs, perform radio suppression of the onboard equipment of satellite navigation systems GPS and GLONASS. It is with domination in the air that Azerbaijan's successes in the current conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh are linked.
In March 2019, the "Lector" portable fire control systems were spotted at the exercises of the Azerbaijani army. They are produced by the Belarusian company “AGAT - Control Systems”.
Decades of cooperation
For years Belarus supplied Azerbaijan with weapons, modernized their military equipment and sold new tech. The irony of the situation is that Armenia, with which Azerbaijan is in the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, is, together with Belarus, a member of CSTO, the Collective Security Treaty Organization.
The goals of the CSTO are "strengthening peace, international and regional security and stability, jointly protecting the independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty of the member states, the priority in achieving this by the member states is given using political means." But, as the history of the arms trade shows, personal benefit is more important than any associations.
In the conditions of the frozen Karabakh conflict and the constant militarization and modernization of the army, the moment when Belarusian weapons, including the Polonezes, would be used against Armenia (a member of the CSTO) and Artsakh (the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh), was only a matter of time.