Azerbaijan and Belarus agree to continue military collaboration
Azerbaijan and Belarus agreed on the development of a collaboration in the military-technical field. The decision was made as a result of the Azerbaijani Minister of Defence, Colonel-General Zakir Hasanov’s visit to Belarus.
On 9 October, President Alexander Lukashenko welcomed the Azerbaijani Minister of Defence to Belarus. He emphasized the close bond that exists between the people of the two countries. He also noted that the Belarusian side treats Azerbaijanis with great respect, and that the president of Azerbaijan always offers a strong shoulder to the Belarusian state in difficult times.
“We all remember this very well, and are ready to do anything we can for Azerbaijan in order to ensure that your people live in safety and that the state develops,” according to a statement made by the head of the Belarusian agency, BELTA.
Lukashenko added that Belarus and Azerbaijan will continue to collaborate, including in the military-technical field.
“I don’t want to justify the nature of our cooperation to anybody. I only want to say that our relationship in no way violates any international treaty, not a single resolution of the Security Council or those of the United Nations as a whole. We are a sovereign, independent state and we have the right to determine the areas of collaboration that correspond with the spirit of the times, and the requests of our governments,” Lukashenko said.
The Belarusian leader noted that Minsk is ready to help Azerbaijan in order for Azerbaijan to feel at peace. “Therefore, we are working and will continue to work together with you on this plan,” he added.
The Azerbaijani Minister of Defence noted that there are good projects and collaboration in the military-technical field. He also stressed that this does not at all contradict international laws.
“I declare, with full responsibility, that the equipment we obtained through military-technical collaboration is of high quality and has been successfully applied in the Azerbaijani Armed Forces,” he said.
According to Hasanov, this will provide an opportunity to continue and even expand collaboration between the two countries.
Earlier, the Defence Ministers of Azerbaijan and Belarus signed a bilateral collaboration plan for 2018. The official statement says that the ministers exchanged a wide range of views on international and regional security issues, the organization of mutual visits of military experts and on issues of mutual interest.
- Collaboration in the military sphere between Belarus and Azerbaijan has lasted for more than ten years. For example, in 2005 Belarus sold Azerbaijan 60 T72 and T72M tanks as well as other military equipment.
- Earlier this year, Belarus extradited Russian blogger Alexander Lapshin to Azerbaijan.