Azerbaijan has second highest military expenditure in CIS

Tue 22 Feb 2011 03:45 GMT | 07:45 Local Time

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Azerbaijan's defence spending is second only to Russia's within the Commonwealth of Independent States.

"Azerbaijan is preparing for military actions, spending record resources, and not just in CIS terms, on the purchase of military hardware and development of the army and navy," journalist Vladimir Mukhin wrote in Russian newspaper Nezavsimaya Gazeta.

"Military expenditure in Azerbaijan has grown from $1.59bn (3.95% of GDP) in 2010 to $3.1bn (6.2% of GDP) in 2011. At the same time, according to Azerbaijani Finance Minister Samir Sharifov, a further $1.36bn will be spent on defence production in addition to pure military expenditure in 2011. Overall spending on the military budget and defence production will, therefore, be $4.46bn or 8.9% of the country's GDP."

Mukhin notes that Armenia also spends a significant proportion of its GDP on defence, 4.1%, although since its economy is much smaller than Azerbaijan's overall expenditure is much less ($387m).

He says in his article, entitled "Post-Soviet Military Neo-Globalism", that the former Soviet countries as a whole are bucking the worldwide trend to cut back on defence spending.

"The countries of the CIS and Georgia are continuing to amaze the international community with the growth in military spending. While the majority of developed countries, such as the USA, Great Britain, France, Germany and other NATO countries are reducing their spending on defence in 2011, a record growth in the past five years in military budgets can be seen in the former Soviet countries."

One reason for the increased spending is that these countries are only now re-equipping their armies and moving on from Soviet-era equipment, Mukhin said.


Nezavisimaya Gazeta

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