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 Wednesday, April 17 2024 17:21
Marianna Mkrtchyan

US State Dept: Armenia does not intend to restart full implementation  of VD11 in 2024

US State Dept: Armenia does not intend to restart full implementation  of VD11 in 2024

ArmInfo. In 2023, Armenia did not adhere to VD11 commitments. In particular, Armenia did not  provide annual VD11 data on its armed forces, nor any other required information or notifications.

Armenia also did not notify at least  one major military exercise or activity in calendar year 2023.  Armenia has failed to submit its annual data since its last  submission on December 15, 2019. This is stated in the 2024 Arms  Control Compliance Report, prepared by the U.S. Department of State.   The 

The section of the Report concerning Armenia mentions, in particular:

"In 2023, Armenia did not provide its annual VD11 submissions,  including its annual military information and other required  notifications. It last provided its military data effective as of  January 1, 2020. In 2020, 2021, and 2022, Armenia notified a delay of  unspecified duration in providing its VD11 data, citing its ongoing  conflict with Azerbaijan as the cause. It has provided no further  updates on the subject since and did not provide annual data on  December 15, 2023. Armenia reported on July 29, 2020, that it was not  "in a position to accept military inspections by the Republic of  Turkey and guest inspectors from Turkey" on its territory under the  Vienna Document. Armenia's position may raise adherence concerns once  it concludes its COVID-19 pause in inspections."

"Per VD11 paragraphs 9 and 10, participating States exchange annually  information on their military forces in the zone of application not  later than December 15 of each year.  Armenia failed to provide its  annual data on December 15, 2023. Per VD11 Chapter II, paragraph 15,  participating States exchange annually information on their defense  policy and doctrine, force planning, previous expenditures, and  budgets. Armenia did not provide this information in 2023, or  indicate when the submission would be made if it was delayed. 

Per VD11 Chapter VII, paragraphs 61 and 62, each participating State  will either exchange an annual calendar of its military activities  subject to prior notification or else notify the absence of such  planned activity. Armenia failed to send either such notification.  Per the FSC's Vienna Document Plus Decision No. 9/12, participating  States notify annually at least one major military exercise or  activity if no military activity otherwise meets Chapter V  notification thresholds. U.S. Embassy Yerevan reported in December  2023 that Armenian MOD officials were engaged on Armenia's on-going  non-implementation of VD11. Armenia stated that its continued  nonadherence to its VD11 commitments is due to the ongoing conflict  with Azerbaijan."

"Embassy Yerevan reported that U.S. officials engaged Armenian MOD  officials in 2023 on the topic of Armenia's on-going  non-implementation of VD11. Recent diplomatic outreach suggests that  Armenia does not intend to restart full implementation of VD11 in  2024, but it might be open to bilateral activities with specific  partners."

While in the section about Azerbaijan, it is noted: "In 2023,  Azerbaijan did not provide VD11 notification of at least one major  military activity for the calendar year as required, despite having  conducted a major military activity. 

"On November 17, 2022, Azerbaijan stated it "does not plan to  organize any military activity according to Paragraph 61 of VD11 for  calendar year 2023. The main military activity below notification  thresholds will be notified as soon as this information will be  available." The Azerbaijan Ministry of Defense (MoD) website  referenced one exercise conducted in 2023 that appeared to be  eligible for notification: MUSTAFA KEMAL ATATURK 2023 - a  national-level exercise started on October 23."

"Per the FSC's Vienna Document Plus Decision No. 9/12, participating  States will notify annually at least one major military exercise or  activity if no military activity otherwise meets VD11 Chapter V  notification thresholds. -- 32 -- Even if Azerbaijan concluded that  its 2023 exercises were not subject to Chapter V notification under  VD11 because they did not meet the notification thresholds,  Azerbaijan should have reported at least one exercise to fulfill the  commitment identified above, as acknowledged in its November 15,  2022, notification."

"Due to the ongoing conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, direct  diplomatic engagement regarding VD11 has been severely limited. In  December 2023, the Defense Attach  Office at U.S. Embassy Baku  engaged with Azerbaijan Ministry of Defense personnel and encouraged  Azerbaijan to fully implement its commitments under VD11. 

During these meetings, U.S. officials discussed the VD11 Plus  Decision No. 9/12 exercise notification commitment, conveyed the  importance that the United States attaches to keeping one's  commitments under VD11, and encouraged a return to full adherence.  Following diplomatic outreach, Azerbaijan made an effort to address  the identified issue by notifying OSCE participating States of a 2023  military exercise after it had occurred, and outside the period  covered by this Compliance Report. This was a welcomed gesture, and  the United States will continue to encourage Azerbaijan to send  timely notifications for future military exercises," the State  Department Report reads.

The OSCE Vienna Document is a series of agreements on confidence and  security-building measures between the states of Europe. It described  its zone of application (ZOA) as "the whole of Europe, as well as the  adjoining sea area and air space".

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