ArmInfo.There is no political implication in the non- participation of the Armenian armed forces in the multinational military exercises of NATO Agile Spirit 2017. Armenian Deputy Defense Minister Artak Zakaryan stated this in a conversation with journalists.
"The Armenian Defense Ministry did not officially announce that it will take part in the multinational military exercises of NATO Agile Spirit 2017," the Armenian Deputy Defense Minister said.
According to him, there is nothing supernatural about the fact that the Armenian side does not take part in these exercises, it is a daily process. According to him, the armed forces of all states, including Armenia, carry out activities in accordance with the plan of action, which may be subject to changes based on certain factors or tasks assigned to the armed forces.
To clarify the question whether this is due to Azerbaijan's participation in these exercises or Armenia's membership in the CSTO, Zakaryan noted that it's no secret that Armenia since 1992 has been in the CSTO system. "The question is not whether the trainings are important to us or not important. We have cooperated and will continue to cooperate with NATO. We are also a full member of the CSTO and the main security umbrella is visible within its system. All the other tasks of our cooperation you always try to divide into black and white, although this is not so. The presence of the Turkish-Azerbaijani tandem did not affect the decision of the Armenian side either", the deputy minister noted. According to him, one of the important foreign political components of Armenia is to have such a military-political component, through which it will be possible to achieve political and military-political balance in the region.
He also stressed that the Armenian side today does not lose anything from not participating in these exercises.
To note, NATO exercises Agile Spirit 2017 are held in Georgia from 3 to 11 September. As reported by the Defense Ministry of Georgia, Armenia refused participation in the exercises at the very last moment. Earlier it was reported that Armenia had given its consent to participate in NATO exercises, which was also stated by high-ranking representatives of the Ministry of Defense of the Republic. Moreover, Armenia's refusal to participate in the exercises was unexpected for the host country, as stated by Georgian Defense Ministry spokesman Georgi Kajarava. The United States, Georgia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Romania attend the exercises.
The Georgian Armed Forces and the US Marine Corps organize the multinational training Agile Spirit 2017. The aim of the exercise is to increase readiness for joint operations within NATO forces or to respond to crises, as well as to improve interaction at the tactical level between units of the participating countries, to merge infantry and mechanized units, and to improve mutual cooperation with the United States and partner countries.
Expert circles tend to believe that Yerevan's decision is conditioned by pressure from Moscow.
To note, a similar situation was recorded in 2009, when Armenia also gave its consent to participate in NATO exercises, but refused at the very last moment.
ArmInfo. The Armenian delegation headed by the Chief of the Air Defense Forces of Armed Forces, Colonel Armen Vardanyan will take part in the meeting of the Air Defense Coordination Committee under the Council of CIS Defense Ministers and in the joint trainings "Combat Commonwealth 2017" in Moscow and Astrakhan from September 4 to 6.