Armenia, Russia to hold joint military drills in 2019

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Armenia and Russia will hold several joint military exercises this year, Spokesperson of the Armenian defense ministry Artsrun Hovhannisyan told Armenpress.

“Two of these military drills will be more large-scale. They are of different nature – offensive, defensive”, he said.

Former defense minister of Armenia, expert Vagharshak Harutyunyan told Armenpress that these are planned events. Every year documents are signed within the Armenian-Russian cooperation and the CSTO according to which military drills are also envisaged. On the other hand, by holding such events, the regional developments and actions are being taken into account.

“We are closely following and saw the Azerbaijani-Turkish military exercises. This year they were held two times, including in Nakhchivan which is a very important direction for us. Therefore, the Armenian-Russian military drills should be viewed from this perspective”, the former defense minister said. He noted that the first task of these military drills is the planned preparedness of the troops, and the next one – the reaction to the military-political situation in the region. In this context ensuring Armenia’s security in case of aggression is one of the priority issues.

Commenting on the situation in the border, Vagharshak Harutyunyan said there has been a period when the tension declined, but now it increased to some extent.

“This period, seems, is in the overall line, as we see tension is increasing and also decreasing. As for the possibility of resumption of military operations, I don’t see it at the moment. I don’t see preconditions which will allow Azerbaijan to launch military operations now. Regardless of everything, we should be ready for war because it’s impossible to rule it out. The best way to prevent war is to be ready for that”, he said.

Asked to what extent the international pressures on Moscow, the deepening of Russia’s external problems can reduce Russia’s attention to the Caucasus, the former minister said regardless of everything Caucasus is very important for Russia.

“What we saw in Syria’s case? The country is far from Russia’s borders, but being an important region Russia has entered into the direct operations. As for our region, it is close to its borders and is very important”, he said.

The armed forces of Azerbaijan and Turkey held joint military drills in Nakhchivan in early June. Artsrun Hovhannisyan stated that the Armenian Armed Forces together with their strategic ally Russia are holding more large-scale military drills.

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