Armenia, Azerbaijan ranks among top militarized countries in world
AFP PhotoArmenia and Azerbaijan have found themselves among the 10 countries with the highest levels of militarization in the world, according to the Global Militarization Index 2014 revealed by the Bonn International Center for Conversation.
Neighboring states Armenia, ranked third, and Azerbaijan, 10th, both belonging to Europe, show very high levels of militarization and have initiated major increases in their military expenditures over the past few years, according to a statement released by the organization to announce index results.
Military expenditure in 2013 by Armenia reached $427 million, while expenditures in Azerbaijan have grew to $3.4 billion, demonstrating the countries’ focus on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in the South Caucasus.
While Azerbaijan has enjoyed economic prosperity thanks to a drastic increase in its oil revenues and boosted its military spending as well, Armenia showed only relatively moderate economic growth resulting in a comparably slow growth in military expenditures.
However the report still adds that “Azerbaijan and Armenia aim at comprehensive modernization activities for their outdated weapons systems for which they are highly dependent on Russian support, and that support is provided to both countries.”
The report also says “the high levels of militarization in these two countries must be seen in the overall context.”
It notes Russia, which holds fifth place in the index rank, delivers arms to both South Caucasian republics and has been pursuing a comprehensive military reform since 2008.
The Global Militarization Index (GMI) depicted the relative weight and importance of the military apparatus of one state in relation to its society as a whole.
Along with Armenia and Azerbaijan, Israel, Singapore, Syria, Russia, Greek Cyprus, South Korea, Jordan and Greece rank amongst the 10 countries with the highest levels of militarization. Three of the countries are in the Middle East, two in East Asia and the remaining five in Western and Eastern Europe.