Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev says his country will continue to increase its military strength until the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with Armenia is resolved.
Speaking at a military parade in Baku on June 26, Aliyev said Azerbaijan's military budget in 2003 was $163 million while now it is $3.7 billion.
Aliyev noted that archrival Armenia’s total national budget is about $2 billion.
Armenian Defense Minister Seiran Ohanian said in Yerevan that his country was concerned by Azerbaijan's arms buildup.
Ohanian stressed the "importance of Armenian-Russian ties," adding that Yerevan did not plan to join what he called "a regional arms race."
Armenia and Azerbaijan have been locked in a dispute over Azerbaijan's mainly Armenian-populated Nagorno-Karabakh region for more than two decades. The disputed area is controlled by Yerevan.
Based on reporting by Apa.az, Interfax, and Panarmenian.net