Just a few days apart, the leaders of Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan, Bako Sahakyan and Ilham Aliyev both announced changes in their armed forces for the upcoming year. Both leaders announced modernisation plans for their armed forces for 2019.
Aliyev was the first to announce such a change, which is hardly something new in a country that has for nearly a decade now amassed large quantities of military equipment in what is probably the most adventurous rearmament programme. Aliyev announced that “this year we have sealed the deal on some very important contracts, which will bring [yet more] modern armament to our Armed Forces”. He added that Baku’s military potential is an important factor for a solution to the Karabakh conflict.
On 20 December in Stepanakert on the other hand, President Bako Sahakyan expressed modern technology will accompany the Armed Forces the upcoming year. Pointing to economic growth indicators for 2019, he underlined that the modernisation of the military and national security issues remain as focal points for the government. “Everything will be done to increase combat readiness, supply modern equipment to the Armed Forces, further develop civil defence [programmes] and aid programmes for veterans and those injured in combat”.