U.S. Calls on Azerbaijan to Be More Transparent on Military Exercises

WASHINGTON, DC According to the US State Department’s report on the Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments (Compliance Report), Azerbaijan failed to uphold its obligations to the Vienna Document and notify at least one major military exercise or activity for calendar year 2019.

The report continues to state that although Azerbaijan continues to express its full support for treaty-limited equipment (TLE) of the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty, it has continuously and significantly violated the treaty. Azerbaijani equipment totals continued to exceed TLE limits in 2019, and other activities related to Treaty implementation raised concerns as to its fulfillment of certain other Treaty obligations.

The State Department’s report added that last year Baku, according to the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense, held at least three large-scale military exercises involving 10,000 troops, hundreds of tanks, large military equipment and the air force, but in no case did it provide information about these exercises as required by the Treaty.

The authors of the report note that “in August 2019, the United States conveyed to Azerbaijan its concern about the lack of transparency.”

In the report presented to Congress, the State Department emphasized that it would continue to deal with this issue in the near future at bilateral and multilateral meetings with Azerbaijan and emphasize the need to provide comprehensive and timely information on military exercises.

“Military exercises that are not reported or not provided all the information undermine the Vienna Document,” the State Department report reiterates.

The Vienna Document is an agreement between the participating states of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe which was intended to implement confidence and security building measures. The agreement was signed under the auspices of the OSCE in 2011 with the aim of building confidence between member states in the field of security and establishing arms control.