By Vugar Khalilov
The volume of Azerbaijan’s defense and national security expenditures increased by 73.9 percent year-on-year in January-June 2021, the Finance Ministry reported on August 9.
The volume of the defence and national security expenditures amounted to AZN 2.5 billion ($1.5bn), which was AZN 1,076 million ($633m) more compared to the same period of 2020, the ministry added.
According to the report, the defense and national security expenditures exceeded the forecast of AZN 2.4 billion ($1.4bn) by 102 percent or AZN 56 million ($33m) and amounted to 55 percent of the annual forecast.
Azerbaijan increased its defence and security expenditures by 31.6 pct in 2020. Some 4.4 billion AZN ($2.6bn) were allocated for defence and national security under the draft law on the implementation of Azerbaijan’s 2020 budget.
Moreover, Azerbaijan allocated AZN 10.2 million to eliminate the damages inflicted on civilians by Armenia’s aggression in 2020 and spent AZN 2.9 million on demining operations in the lands liberated from the Armenian occupation in last year's war.
The revenues of Azerbaijan’s 2020 state budget made up AZN 24.6 billion ($12.7bn), while the expenditures were AZN 26.4 billion ($15.5bn).
It should be noted that Azerbaijan ranked 64 out of 138 countries (power index: 1.0507) in the Global Firepower rating in 2021 and was the leader in the South Caucasus region for military strength.
The Azerbaijani Army has 126,000 active and 300,000 reserve personnel.
News sources reported in early September 2020 that Azerbaijan’s defence and security budget will amount to $2.33 billion (AZN 3.95 billion) in 2021, compared to $2.27 billion (AZN 3.85 billion) in 2020.
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