Russian defence chief visits Baku to sort out payment for Azeri arms deal

07/03/2016

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry RogozinAzeri arms deal: Dmitry Rogozin, the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia with responsibility for its defence industry last week made an unexpected visit to Baku to find out why President Ilham Aliyev’s government is refusing to pay for a shipment of weapons that it ordered several years ago, but which is now sitting in port waiting for payment. 
The shipment is believed to be part of a $1bn package agreed in 2011 which includednearly 100 T-90C tanks, Smerch and TOS-1A multiple rocket launchers and Msta-A and Vena artillery cannons.
Nagorno Karabakh conflictSpeculation over why Baku has not paid suggests that either it cannot because it has run out of money or will not because it objects to the $200m credit that Russia extended to Armenia to acquire weaponry that it believes could be used in the dispute between the two countries over Nagorno Karabakh.
“The fall in oil prices has affected everyone, and Azerbaijan is no exception,” an unnamed Russian defense industry official told Kommersant; but there is nevertheless a suspicion that Baku is using non-payment as a bargaining tool with Russia over its support for Armenia