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Struggling Economy Forces Big Defense Spending Cuts in Azerbaijan

President Ilham Aliyev tours the ADEX defense expo in Baku on September 27. (photo: ADEX)

Azerbaijan is facing a large decrease in its military budget as state revenues continue to suffer from low oil prices.

According to budget documents released last week, Azerbaijan is budgeting 1.62 billion manat for defense in 2017, down 27.5 percent from the projected spending in 2016. And that doesn't take into account the declining value of the manat, which will make buying equipment from abroad even pricier. 

Keeping track of Azerbaijan's defense budget is as much an art as a science, and another complicating factor has been the "special projects and activities" line in the budget, which had funded military procurement from 2011. It disappeared last year, and this year remains out of the budget. Adding to the confusion, most media reporting on the budget appear to have used a figure of 2.9 billion manat for 2017, but that is the combined figure of defense and internal security spending.

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Struggling Economy Forces Big Defense Spending Cuts in Azerbaijan

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