A Russian defense company reportedly clarified on Tuesday that it has not yet completed the delivery of 100 battle tanks to Azerbaijan stemming from a Russian-Azerbaijani contract signed in 2012.
The Azerbaijani news agency APA cited unnamed representatives of the state-own Uralvagonzavod enterprise as saying that shipments of the advanced T-90 tanks began last year and are continuing “according to schedule.” They said the next batch of this military hardware will reach Azerbaijan in August.
“We are not talking about an additional order,” one of them said. “Right now we are carrying out the outstanding order.”
Konstantin Biryulin, the deputy head of a Russian government agency overseeing arms deals with foreign states, told the Itar-Tass news agency on Friday that the Russian side completed the tank order last month. He said the 2011 contract entitles Baku to buying 100 more T-90s.
According to the Uralvagonzavod source quoted by APA, the two sides are currently negotiating on the possibility of more tank sales. “At the moment Azerbaijan is Uralvagonzavod’s biggest client,” added the source.
Citing an unnamed Russian official dealing with arms exports, the Moscow daily “Kommersant” on Monday confirmed Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s August 2013 claims that the total volume of Russian-Azerbaijani defense contracts signed since 2010 is worth around $4 billion. The official said that the figure could rise to $5 billion by the end of this year.
The Russian weapons supplied to Azerbaijan include not only tanks but also sophisticated air-defense and artillery systems and attack helicopters.