France has reportedly lifted its arms embargo on Azerbaijan, ahead of a push to sell arms to the country.
Interfax quoted an Azeri media outlet, the military-focused AzeriDefence, as reporting, “Paris has lifted the ban on French companies’ sales of defense products to Azerbaijan. Military-industrial companies of this country have already started working on marketing.”
There was no indication of what sort of equipment France may be marketing to Azerbaijan. In recent years, Azerbaijan has procured armored vehicles, tanks, unmanned aerial vehicles, multiple rocket launchers, surface-to-surface missiles, and air-defense systems, amid an effort to modernize the Azeri military and counter new additions in the Armenian military.
The report added, “In particular, such leading companies as MBDA Systems, the CIFAL Group, the Naval Group, Airbus Defense, Etienne Lacroix, Nexter Systems, Proengin, Thales, and others will be represented at ADEX 2018.”
ADEX, a military exhibition, will be held in September 2018.
The arms embargo has been in place for several decades. The U.S. and a number of European countries imposed embargoes on exporting military equipment to Azerbaijan in the 1990s, in response to the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. Recently, the U.S. has also sold weapons to Azerbaijan, as indicated by a pair of Bell 412s that flew during an Azeri military parade last month.