Armenia Announces Defense Reforms

Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian (left) with Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian hold meeting with NATO in Brussels

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)—Armenia has drawn up a new five-year plan of defense reforms stemming from its growing cooperation with NATO, Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian said during a visit to Brussels on Wednesday.

Ohanian made the announcement as he and Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian held an annual meeting with members of NATO’s North Atlantic Council. Official Armenian sources said the two men briefed the body representing the 28 NATO member states on the current status of Armenia’s Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) with the Western alliance.

Launched in 2005, the IPAP commits Armenia to reforming its armed forces along the lines of NATO standards and practices. It also envisages greater Armenian participation in NATO-led multinational missions and military exercises.

In line with those reforms, the Armenian government recently conducted a “strategic review” of its military capabilities and security challenges facing the country.

“As a result of that review, we have devised a mid-term plan to develop the Armed Forces of Armenia in 2011-2015, which guarantees a defense management based on their democratic and civilian oversight,” the Armenian Defense Ministry quoted Ohanian as telling the Brussels-based council.

A statement issued by the ministry said the meeting discussed a fresh modification of the IPAP planned by the two sides. It did not elaborate.

The existing version of the cooperation framework publicized last year describes European integration as “Armenia’s main foreign policy objective.” It calls for “maximum transparency” in defense planning and budgeting and an “adequate mix” of civilian and military personnel within the Armenian Defense Ministry.

According to the 15-page document, the Armenian military will also “review” its chain of command and control procedures and revamp its military education and training systems.

In a separate statement, the Armenian Foreign Ministry said Nalbandian and Ohanian also met separately with NATO’s Deputy Secretary General Claudio Bisogniero.

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6 Comments

  1. David said:

    Armenia has NO right to even consider joining NATO!!! It’s contributed nothing and doesn’t have a clue as to what NATO’s been through over many decades. NATO is too far beyond Armenia (which in reallity, has nothing to offer). Besides, the Russians are doing a fair job of protecting Armenia as it is!

    • Man who know what he's talking about said:

      huh? Armenia has contributed a pretty hefty military contingent (both combat and non-combat) in Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan in aid of NATO peacekeeping missions in those countries. I don’t know what you’re babbling your mouth about. You know next to nothing about what Armenia has contributed to an alliance that has not contributed anything in return as of yet, so I would keep my mouth shut if I were you.

      Besides Armenia has no long-term ambitions of joining NATO, it is perfectly satisfied with the CSTO. But it is always wise to keep your eggs in more than one basket, so Armenia’s looking to make connections and not allienate itself from any one powerful side, which is very wise in this day and age.

  2. bigmoustache said:

    first get rid of the fat cops, the giant satellite dish police hats and their cheap shirts with the lastic on the bottom so it wont drape over their bellies, cops like that should be fired or behind a desk. create a police anti corruption squad to investigate officers..

  3. Robert Klein said:

    Armenia needs to improve it’s military greatly. It needs better tanks because the Soviet T-72,T-80 and T-90 are poor quality tanks because their ammunition storage is not armored and when the tank is it , the ammunition blows up.Armenia needs tanks like the Indian Arjun or the Italian Ariete which have armored storage boxes which prevent ammunition explosions.These tanks also have composite armor that can withstand modern anti-tank missles . Armenia needs to look towards countries like India and Brazil which produce cheaper but effective weapons. Brazil produces cheap but effective air to air missles such as the MAR-1 anti-radar missle and the MAA-1B air to air missle both of which are cheaper than comparable missles sold by the West.Indian weapons that are most interesting is the NAG missle which only costs $20,000 per missle and this is an excellent anti-tank missile for a low cost.

    • bigmoustache said:

      armenia needs to start producing those weapons instead. scopes, guns, explosives…make a military industry in armenia, using armenian labour

      • Aram said:

        Already happening for a while now. You’d be surprised, but Armenia has a pretty developed military industry. It regularly participates in international defense expos and even exports such things as chips for guidance systems. Scopes are being produced, as well as our own sniper rifle of the K series, which includes locally produced assault rifles and handguns.

        Just because we don’t do a press-release every time a new grenade is produced (like a certain pesky loud-mouth neighbor) doesn’t mean we’re not making them.

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