By Mushvig Mehdiyev
The Caspian littoral states will hold joint naval drills in 2015. Azerbaijan will hold trilateral naval exercises with the Russian and Kazakh navy, while bilateral drills between Azerbaijani and Russian naval forces are also on agenda.
Russian navy's missile boats under the projects "Buyan" and "Buyan-M", including in the Caspian Flotilla, will show their capabilities in an international drill for the first time.
Holding joint naval drills among the CIS member-states' navies was agreed in Astrakhan on November 9, 2014. An international contest called "The Caspian Sea" will take place in 2015 among navies of the CIS countries, being first ever joint drills in the Caspian sea.
Russia and Azerbaijan has recently boosted bilateral military ties, as Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu met with his Azerbaijani counterpart Zakir Hasanov earlier this October. The two ministers inked an agreement on the partnership between the armed forces of Russia and Azerbaijan in 2015.
The sides also agreed that Azerbaijan will send more servicemen to study in Russia, where about 57 Azerbaijani servicemen are studying now. Arranging joint military drills were also on agenda of the meeting.
The official visit was very fruitful also in terms of the weapon purchase deal between the two countries. The media reported that Azerbaijan was interested in the Russia-made coastal missile system Bal-E.
Azerbaijan signed an agreement with Russia earlier in 2011 and 2012 to purchase two anti-aircraft missile systems S-300, two batteries of the anti-aircraft system Tor-2ME, over 70 helicopters, 100 T-90 tanks, 100 units of VMP-3 power modules, as well as the artillery equipment Msta-S and Smerch multiple rocket launcher. Total cost of the deal was $4 billion.