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Canadian defence deal with Azerbaijan raises new questions about arms export controls

Canadian defence deal with Azerbaijan raises new questions about arms export controls

A deal by a Canadian company to export armoured personnel carriers to Azerbaijan and set up a joint production of these military-style vehicles in the oil-rich former Soviet republic is once again raising questions about the efficacy of Canada’s defence export controls.

Toronto-based INKAS Armored Vehicle Manufacturing has signed a deal with Azerbaijan’s interior ministry under which the company has already delivered «a few» Canadian-made armoured personnel carriers (APCs).

The privately owned company has also set up a joint venture with an Azerbaijani firm to produce APCs in Azerbaijan, which has been embroiled in a simmering armed conflict with neighbouring Armenia since the breakup of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, said Roman Shimonov, vice-president of marketing and business development at INKAS.

«Azerbaijan is a very unique country in terms of geographic location, in terms of geopolitical challenges, because they are in the middle between Iran and Armenia and Turkey,» said Shimonov, who has also been appointed CEO of the joint venture AZCAN Defence Solutions. «And they have resources, more resources than other countries, and they are looking to be able to have more solutions in terms of defence — and not only defence, they’re looking to protect their borders.»

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