France lifts embargo on sales of defense products to Azerbaijan
The French authorities have lifted a ban on sales of defense products made by its military-industrial companies to Azerbaijan.
In the early 1990s, a number of European countries and the United States imposed a ban on sales of weapons to Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
"Paris has lifted the ban on French companies' sales of defense products to Azerbaijan. Military-industrial companies of this country have already started working on marketing," Interfax reported citing AzeriDefence and military sources.
France's military industry will be broadly represented at the ADEX 2018 international defense exhibition in Azerbaijan on September 25-27.
"In particular, such leading companies as MBDA Systems, the CIFAL Group, the Naval Group, Airbus Defense, Etienne Lacroix, Nexter Systems, Proengin, Thales, and others will be represented at ADEX 2018," the report said.
The Deputy Director General of the Trend information agency, political commentator Arzu Nagiyev, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that due to the ongoing Karabakh war, Azerbaijan is interested in larger transfers of arms, including from France. "Recently, we were mainly interested in the latest technologies - weapons consistent with the NATO standards. Of course, in addition to buying weapons from Russia, Pakistan, Turkey and other countries. Today we need drones to conduct ground and air combat actions. The concrete list of purchases will be determined by the Ministry of Defense after negotiations with the French side," he said.
Arzu Nagiyev drew attention to the fact that Azerbaijan has established itself as a reliable buyer in the market of military equipment. "France is one of the world's largest exporters of weapons, and Azerbaijan is a buyer with an independent policy in terms of military-technical cooperation. I think, that's why Paris canceled the embargo on arms sales to Azerbaijan. Recently, the US and its allies have threatened Russian companies and their counterparts with new sanctions. If these sanctions are introduced, the West will be able to occupy Russia's place in the Azerbaijani market, and France seeks to be among the first here," the deputy director general of Trend believes.
Political scientist Rovshan Ibrahimov outlined several reasons why France decided to life the embargo. "First, it's been a very long time since the ban was imposed, but the restrictions on supplies had no effect. Second, close and rather interesting relations have been formed between Azerbaijan and France in recent years, French presidents visit Azerbaijan more often than other European leaders. Third, Azerbaijan is a reliable buyer," the expert listed.
"If Azerbaijan starts buying French weapons, Paris can count on not just our solvency, but also the purchase of weapons in an especially large amount." First of all, I mean high-tech weapons that can reduce human losses, Paris is one of the leaders in this sector. Perhaps, France decided to lift the embargo, looking at NATO and OSCE countries cooperating with Azerbaijan in the military sphere. The factor of Azerbaijani diplomacy, of course, also played a role. I think that the abolition of the embargo can be called a revolutionary step," Rovshan Ibragimov concluded.