Tuesday, July 23 2019 12:25
David Stepanyan

View from Baku: Small amounts of US aid to Armenia are conditioned by  the latter`s membership in the CSTO

View from Baku: Small amounts of US aid to Armenia are conditioned by  the latter`s membership in the CSTO

ArmInfo. The volume of American military aid to Armenia, which is small in comparison to funds provided to Azerbaijan,  is conditioned by the membership of the  republic in the collective security system of the CSTO. A similar  opinion was expressed to ArmInfo by analyst, MP of the Azerbaijani  parliament Rasim Musabekov.

"Thus, the reasons are fairly objective, since the borders of Armenia  with Iran and Turkey are protected by Russian border troops on the  basis of relevant agreements. Military cooperation between Armenia  and the United States is mainly limited to humanitarian areas," he  noted.

To recall, in 2018-2019 the US administration has increased financial  assistance to Azerbaijan to $ 101.5 million. Meanwhile,  in 2016-2017  this amount was $ 3 million. In parallel, there was an increase in  the budget of the border guards of Azerbaijan from $ 90 million in  2018 to $ 116 million in 2019. At the same time, financial support  for Armenia from the United States amounted to $ 4.2 million in 2018,  $ 2.8 million in 2019, and another $ 2.1 million is planned for 2020.  These data became a pretext for political manipulations around the  insufficient level of Armenian-American cooperation.

Meanwhile, according to Musabekov, Azerbaijan, like Kazakhstan, is  allocated American finance in the framework of a specific  CaspianGuard project. The latter is aimed at helping to improve  security at the borders, preventing and countering terrorist threats,  the spread of drug transportation, trafficking and other  transnational threats.

According to Musabekov, the United States, who invested large funds  in energy projects in the Caspian Sea, seeks to increase the capacity  of Baku and Astana to ensure their security. In particular, within  the framework of the project, the United States assisted Azerbaijan  with the preparation of border guards, the installation of sensors  and radars at the southern and northern borders, and also provided a  vessel with equipment to detect radioactive or prohibited chemicals.

According to the analyst, CaspianGuard primarily aims to protect  American interests in protecting important energy projects for the  United States and preventing questionable cargoes from Russia to Iran  and back through the territory of interest to them.

"The addressee of the American assistance is not the Ministry of  Defense, but the Border Guard Service of Azerbaijan, which is  determined by the goals of the American project - ensuring the  security of Azerbaijan's land, air and sea borders. In this light,  USA's financial aid to Azerbaijan has nothing to do with the  negotiation process on Karabakh and moreover resumption of military  actions in the region'', "Musabekov concluded. 

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