Azerbaijan is not letting the global oil-price crisis interfere with its penchant for military and sports- spending. The nation’s 2016 defense budget is now set at $1.2 billion, a 21-percent increase from 2015. Despite sagging petroleum revenues and a severely weakened currency, Baku also is moving ahead with $1.2 million in financing for a European soccer championship.
The amount set aside by Azerbaijan for defense spending is hardly modest, but once again it comes up short of the über goal of spending more on defense than enemy Armenia does on its entire government budget. Before the oil-price slump, Baku had met that goal. Some analysts, however, suspected that Azerbaijan was gerrymandering figures and budget lines to puff up its military outlays and alarm Armenia.
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