Belarus Delivered Advanced Weapons to Azerbaijan During Artsakh War, Leaked Documents Reveal

Belarus-made Groza-S counter-drone stations are among the advanced military hardware sold by Minsk to Baku

Belarus delivered advanced weapons to Azerbaijan during the 2020 Artsakh War in a secret pact that defies the mandate of the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization, recently leaked document reviewed by Politico have revealed.

This revelation sheds new light on Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s announcement Wednesday that Armenia will leave the Russia-led CSTO, a move he has hinted to since earlier this spring when he announced that Yerevan would freeze its participation in the bloc.

Pashinyan on Thursday cited remarks by President Aleksander Lukashenko of Belarus, who during visit to occupied Shushi boasted to his Azerbaijani counterpart, Ilham of Aliyev, of Minsk’s support for Baku during the war.

The prime minister’s statement was swiftly followed by an announcement by Armenia’s foreign ministry that Yerevan was recalling its ambassador in Minsk. Belarus followed suit by recalling its ambassador to Yerevan.

Politico reported on Thursday that it had reviewed a cache of more than a dozen letters, diplomatic notes, bills of sale and export passports showing that Belarus actively aided Azerbaijan’s armed forces between 2018 and 2022, as tensions peaked with Armenia. “The services offered included modernizing older artillery equipment and providing new gear used for electronic warfare and drone systems,” Politico said

“The documents include letters from the Belarusian state arms export agency to its own military-industrial firms relating to orders of state-of-the-art artillery targeting equipment for Azerbaijan as well as correspondence between the two states agreeing the purchase of Groza-S counter-drone mobile warfare stations for Azerbaijan’s armed forces,” Politico reported.

One of the diplomatic communications seen by Politico said that Belarusian companies were playing an active role “in the restoration of de-occupied territories of Azerbaijan, as well as the export of Belarusian goods and services” to the country.

Eduard Arakelyan, a military analyst at Yerevan’s Regional Center for Democracy and Security, verified to Politico that the leaked documents pertained to hardware used by Azerbaijan in recent wars, both in Artsakh and against Armenia itself.

“This equipment was used with devastating effect against Armenian troops and was provided by a country that is supposed to be an ally of Armenia,” he told Politico. “In formal terms, it’s a complete breach of the CSTO alliance but, in practice, we’ve always known the bloc was more supportive of Azerbaijan.”

“It’s ridiculous to think these transfers could have taken place without Moscow’s knowledge, and that Russia couldn’t have stopped them if it wanted to,” Ivana Stradner, a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies told Politico.

“There is no such thing as loyalty when it comes to Moscow — it’s all about preserving their own security even if it’s at the expense of their own allies,” she added.

Read the Politico report.

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