The shipments are the result of contracts signed in 2011 and 2012, unnamed Russian Defense Ministry sources told the business daily, which also cited photographs posted on milkavkaz.net, a website analyzing the military situation in the Southern Caucasus, to prove the deliveries were underway.
The military hardware being supplied to Baku is worth between $700 million and $1 billion and includes 94 T-90S tanks, about 100 BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles, 18 Msta-S howitzers, 18 Smerch rocket launchers, 18 Vena “floating mortars,” and six TOS-1A Solntsepek multiple launch rocket systems, according to Vedomosti.
Reached by phone, a spokesman for Rosoboronexport, the state-controlled arms trader, declined to comment on the report.
Large-scale Russian military support for Azerbaijan is likely to provoke unease in neighboring Armenia, which traditionally enjoys a close relationship with Moscow. Armenia and Azerbaijan are still locked in a dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh, a mountainous enclave populated mostly by ethnic Armenians but located within Azerbaijan`s internationally recognized borders, where a bloody war erupted in the late 1980s and went on to claim tens of thousands lives.(en.rian.ru)