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Si vis pacem, para bellum

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, July 9
Georgia’s South Caucasus neighbors Armenia and Azerbaijan are hastily reinforcing their armaments. The big northern neighbor, Russia encourages this process by providing both sides with billions of dollars in arms. The Russians are rubbing their hands with content assuring their business partners that the balance between the two countries is preserved.

Compared with the process going on in the neighboring countries, Georgia’s armed forces look modest; whereas the military competition between Armenia and Azerbaijan increases the threat of possible confrontation.

Currently it has become known that Azerbaijan has purchased up to 1 billion USD in arms from Russia including up to one-hundred units of assault tanks as well as other armaments such as modern missile launchers.

Experts recollect that in 2010-2011, Moscow supplied Baku with up to $2 billion in arms.

Azerbaijan explains its reasons for increasing its armaments by the fact that Armenia occupies a substantial amount of Azeri territories and the peaceful process is not yielding any serious results so far.

If you want peace– get ready for war... which in Latin is 'si vis pacem, para bellum'

At the beginning of the 1990s, Armenia with the help of Russia, occupied Karabakh and the adjacent territories of Azerbaijan. Of course, Azerbaijan is now richer than Armenia, because of their oil dollars and definitely Armenia will find it hard to keep the parity with Azerbaijan. However, Yerevan has Moscow as its strategic partner on its side.

So Russia sells the weapons to Baku at market price; whereas it provides Yerevan with the same weapons very cheap or sometimes even free of charge.

Russian officials calm Armenia's partners by explaining the commercial sales of arms to Baku as business. However, some analysts suggest that through these steps, Moscow indirectly encourages Baku to begin military activities, thus undermines the economic situation of Azerbaijan.

Moscow will obviously support Yerevan, thus cutting Baku’s claims to become yet another supplier of energy to European countries. As a result, Russia’s role in supplying energy to Europe will immensely increase.

As the result of such military-political games, Georgia should be on alert. In 2005-2008, Georgia was spending a solid amount of money to modernize its military potential. However, when Russia attacked Georgia in 2008, it managed to destroy and seize a considerable amount of Georgia’s military equipment. Moreover after defeating Georgia, Moscow imposed a semi-official embargo on arms sales to Georgia. There is no international document imposing this embargo and it is only a verbal demand from Russia which was followed by certain states who did not want to upset Moscow.

So at the end of the day, the Kremlin might become once again the side that receives the most advantage from the current situation.