BAKU (AFP)–Boasting of his energy-rich country’s vast increases in military spending, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev vowed Friday to use "all means" to restore control over Nagorno-Karabakh.
"We will strengthen our military power and use all means to pressure Armenia," said Aliev during a graduation ceremony at a military academy. "We will attack Armenia on all fronts — economic, political, diplomatic and informational."
Flush with revenues from oil exports, Azerbaijan has boosted defense spending by a factor of eight in the last four years to $1 billion this year, Aliev said. Azerbaijan would soon begin producing its own military hardware, he added without elaboration.
Aliyev accused Armenia of blocking negotiations by refusing to budge on deman’s for Karabakh’s independence. "Nagorno-Karabakh will never be independent and the sooner Armenia realizes this, the better," Aliev said.