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Armenia-Azerbaijan arms race undercuts peace prospects

Friday, August 11, 2017

Significance

As low-intensity fighting continues, neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan is ready to make concessions to facilitate a settlement determining whether Karabakh gains independence or reverts to Azerbaijan. Russia is supplying weapons to both sides: a short-range missile system to Armenia last year and additional anti-tank missiles for Azerbaijan this June.

Impacts

  • Russia's arms sales will create suspicion of its motives in both Armenia and Azerbaijan.
  • Armenian leaders realise they have no option but to maintain defence ties with Moscow.
  • Azerbaijan is likely to diversify its sources of arms imports to escape excessive reliance on Russia.
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