Earlier that year in February 2015, Quartz online magazine even exaggeratedly fear mongered that “Azerbaijan is transforming into a mini-Russia” because of its strengthening domestic security capabilities in dealing with asymmetrical threats.While Azerbaijan’s resistance certainly has its pragmatic limits owing to the country’s entrenched strategic and energy infrastructural relationship with the West over the past couple of decades, it’s telling that it would so publicly rebuke the West in the fashion that it did and suggests that the problems between Azerbaijan and the West are deeper than just a simple spat.Amidst this recent falling out between Azerbaijan and the West and even in the years preceding it, Moscow has been able to more confidently position itself as a reliable, trustworthy, and non-discriminatory partner which would never interfere with Baku’s domestic processes or base its bilateral relations with the country on whatever its counterpart chooses to do at home.
By 2015, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute reported that Azerbaijan’s total arms spending for the five-year period of 2011-2014 had increased by 249%, with 85% of its supplies coming from Russia.
In parallel to that, it also asserted that Russia’s weapons exports to Europe for 2011-2015 increased by 264%, “mainly due to deliveries to Azerbaijan”.
This advisory note is needed in order to proactively prevent the reader from misunderstanding the author’s words and analyses, since the topic is full of highly emotionally charged elements and generally evokes a strong reaction among many, especially those of either of the two ethnicities.
The general trend is that the prevailing geopolitical stereotypes about Armenia and Azerbaijan are not as accurate as one would immediately think, and that neither country adheres to them to the degree that one would initially expect.
Over the past year or so, Armenia and Azerbaijan’s geopolitical trajectories haven’t exactly been moving along the course that casual commentators would expect that they would.