Armenia will receive additional military assistance from Russia within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the secretary general of the Russian-led alliance of seven ex-Soviet states announced on Friday.
Nikolay Bordyuzha said Moscow will specifically supply new weapons to Armenian and other allied troops making up a NATO-style rapid reaction force that was formed by the CSTO member states in 2009.
“We have practically finished work on a program to arm the Collective Operational Reaction Forces (CORF) of the CSTO,” Bordyuzha told a news conference in Yerevan. He said the program will be submitted to an upcoming CSTO summit for approval.
“It envisages the provision of modern types of weaponry to contingents making up the Collective Operational Reaction Forces, including troops from Armenia,” added the Russian official.
In that context, Bordyuzha also stressed the importance of growing cooperation, also within the CSTO framework, between the Armenian and Russian defense industries. “What is now being done in the military-economic area, especially the creation of a number of Russian centers or joint ventures in Armenia for the maintenance, repair and modernization of some types of weaponry, also contributes to the provision of modern weapons to the Armenian armed forces,” he said.
Armenian and Russian officials agreed to set up such ventures after talks in Yerevan in July 2010. Bordyuzha announced at the time the launch of a “pilot project” aimed at integrating Armenian defense enterprises into Russia’s military-industrial complex.
The announcement came shortly before Moscow and Yerevan signed a new defense accord that extended the presence of a Russian military base in Armenia by 24 years, until 2044, and upgraded its security mission. The bilateral deal also committed Moscow to supplying the Armenian military with “modern and compatible weaponry and (special) military hardware.”
Bordyuzha spoke to journalists on Friday after signing with Artur Baghdasarian, secretary of President Serzh Sarkisian’s National Security Council, a plan of Armenia’s CSTO-related actions. That includes the holding of CORF exercises in Armenia next year. Baghdasarian described the drills as “extremely important” for Yerevan.
According to Bordyuzha, the document also envisages “a number of events that will allow us to use more effectively the CSTO’s potential for ensuring Armenia’s security.”