In the December 22 meeting with journalists in Yerevan, the Director of the Institute of CIS countries Konstantin Zatulin had said: “A group of experts refute the opinion that the Solntsepek and Smerch acquired from Russia played a major role in pushing Azerbaijan to start the war in April. Weapons acquired from Israel actualy had a bigger role there. I do not want to expand on this topic, but it is obvious that if Russia does not sell weapons to Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan will obtain them from another source.”
Since Russian experts and politicians have repeatedly voiced similar opinions, let’s state that according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) data released in 2015, 85 percent of the offensive ammunition purchased by Azerbaijan in the course of 2010-2014 was supplied by Russia.
Moreover, in 2010-2014, compared to 2005-2009, Azerbaijan increased its arms imports by 249% (as we noticed, mainly from Russia). Therefore, the weapons supplied by Israel to Azerbaijan for 2010-2014 will amount to at most 15 percent of the imported arms.
During the past few years, Russia even sold internationally prohibited weapons to Azerbaijan, such as volley-fire rocket system Smerch with cluster warheads, prohibited by the Dublin Convention, or the Solntsepek rocket launchers on the edge of convention banning.
Also, Russia is the only manufacturer of heavy weapons in the world that agrees to arming Azerbaijan. Most of the weapons sold by Russia are not manufactured in Israel or are not suitable for the climatic conditions of this region.