Four CIS Nations to Enter Joint Air Defense System

MOSCOW (Itar-Tass)–Armenia–Georgia–Kyrgisitan and Uzbekistan are expected to enter combat duty in the CIS united air defense system in 1998–a press service agent of the Coordination Staff of Commonwealth of Independent States Military Cooperation told Itar-Tass January 1.

The four states’ initial cooperation will include exchange of information regarding the situation of air space–the source said.

Russia and Belarus have been jointly protecting their air space since April of 1996–and Russia and Kazakhstan have been doing so since May of 1996.

Additionally–Moscow and Minsk are setting up a joint air-defense unit within the context of the Russian-Belarus Union and the CIS united air-defense system.

The united air defense system concept stipulates that air defense forces will be set up in Tajikistan in 1998–and a united CIS combat unit is expected to be created from 1999 to 2005.

Azerbaijan and Moldovia are the only CIS members who are not involved in the united air defense system.

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