YEREVAN — During the escalation of the conflict between Baku and Yerevan in Nagorno-Karabakh, Belarus provided weapons and military aid to Azerbaijan, according to leaked diplomatic and military documents from Belarus seen by Politico.

A cache of more than a dozen letters, diplomatic notes, bills of sale, and export passports shows that Belarus actively aided Azerbaijan’s armed forces between 2018 and 2022, as tensions peaked with Armenia. The assistance included modernizing older artillery equipment and providing new gear used for electronic warfare and drone systems.

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

One of the diplomatic communications seen by Politico stated that Belarusian enterprises 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.

Despite officially being an ally of Armenia, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has previously described Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev as “our man” and said it would be “wrong” for the CSTO to oppose him. Aliyev, for his part, said in 2022 that “we have more friends in the CSTO than Armenia.”

Experts believe that Belarus, one of Moscow’s closest allies, was unlikely to be acting without the tacit support of the Kremlin. Both Belarus and Armenia are members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a post-Soviet military alliance led by Moscow and formed in 2002. Theoretically, members are obliged to defend each other if attacked. Azerbaijan quit a precursor to the bloc in 1999.

 

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