Anti-Russian 'NATO Week' kicks off in Armenia
The series of NATO Week events have started in Armenia today.
There are no political obstacles for approval of the 6th stage of the Individual Partnership Action Plans (IPAP) between Armenia and NATO for 2020-2022, head of the Department of Defense Policy at the Armenian Ministry of Defense Levon Ayvazyan said at the press conference devoted to the start of NATO Week in Armenia.
He noted that NATO continues to be an important partner of Armenia.
Head of Arms Control and International Security Department of Armenian Foreign Ministry, Ambassador Armen Yedigaryan, in turn, said that Armenia and NATO are negotiating the drafting of the 6th phase of the Individual Partnership Plan (IPAP).
He added that most likely, the plan will come into force in spring 2020. "Until then the current version of IPAP is applied," Sputnik Armenia cited Yedigaryan as saying.
The 'NATO Week' in Armenia will be held on March 11-18. It is attended by special representative of the NATO Secretary General for the South Caucasus and Central Asia James Appathurai.
Cooperation between Armenia and NATO is being built in accordance with the Armenia-NATO Individual Partnership Action Plan, signed in December 2005. Armenia's participation in the IPAP involves holding periodic consultations with NATO on regional security, developing the strategy of this security, the military doctrine, improving the defense and budget planning process and other issues.
The editor-in-chief of 'National Defense' magazine, Igor Korotchenko, noted in conversation with the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza that events of Armenia-NATO format raise questions from Russia. "Nobody forbids Armenia to maintain political contacts with other states, but the close military-political rapprochement of the CSTO member with NATO as an organization causes bewilderment. This bewilderment is all the more reasonable if we recall that the CSTO was left without a general secretary because of Armenia's unconstructive position, since former Secretary General Yuri Khachaturov was recalled to Yerevan and a new criminal case was opened against him by the new Armenian authorities, while the candidacy proposed by Belarus is blocked by Yerevan. At least, Armenia could agree on the appointment of a new CSTO Secretary General, and only then hold the NATO week," he said.
"Russia is interested in strengthening military and military-technical relations and sees Armenia as an important partner. However, under the conditions when such NATO weeks are held, this is another reason to carefully analyze the situation after the change of power in Armenia," the editor-in-chief of 'National Defense' magazine stressed.
"It is worth noting that a huge staff of the American embassy in Yerevan - several thousand people - has not gone anywhere. There are U.S. intelligence agencies operating under diplomatic cover - the CIA, military intelligence, the National Security Agency. Having so many U.S. citizens with diplomatic status in the republic is a threat for Armenian national security. Of course, Armenia is a sovereign state, no one can tell it what to do, but our Armenian partners should know that such Yerevan's drift towards NATO is of concern to us," Igor Korotchenko pointed out.