RA Air Defense Handed over to Russia

On Friday, the RA National Assembly Standing Committee on Foreign Relations gave a positive conclusion to the agreement on the “the Creation of a United Regional Air Defense System in the Caucasus Region of Collective Security, which is due to be discussed in the National Assembly plenary session in the coming days.

Though officials state that Armenia’s security will only benefit from that agreement and the Armed Forces will not lose their independence, the agreement stipulates the opposite.

Air Defense Unification

As it is known, the air defense units of the 102nd Russian Military Base located in Gyumri, as well as the Russian squadron located in “Erebuni” airport in Yerevan have the obligation of protecting the Armenian airspace (according to Article 3 of the 1995 agreement on the “Russian Military Base in the Territory of Armenia”).

And the new agreement stipulates that during threat of war or aggravation of the “military-political” situation, the Armenian and Russian air defense forces located in the territory of Armenia should act together and cannot perform independent actions.

Moreover, in order to prevent one of the sides from “unsanctioned” use of anti-aircraft weapons, the appendix of the agreement envisages organization of “actions” to obviate such cases.

In addition, even during the peaceful period, air defense forces retain full independence solely in the organization of “daily activities” (with regard to other issues, the level of independence has decreased).

As it has already been mentioned, the parties have partial independence in managing their air defense forces during peaceful times. However, the parties are deprived of that independence during war or, as it is mentioned in the contract, during aggravation of the “military-political” situation … More precisely, only one of the parties is deprived of that independence, and that party is naturally Armenia.

Under the Command of the Russian Federation

The point is that Article 6 of the agreement stipulates the hierarchy of management of joint actions of Armenian and Russian air defense forces deployed in the territory of Armenia. According to the hierarchy, the overall coordination of joint actions will be implemented by the commander of the aerospace defense forces of the Russian Federation. The overall management of the actions will be carried out by the commander of the Southern Military District of Russia. And it is only the direct management of operations that will be done by the Armenian side, namely, by the commander of air defense forces.

This means that the high command (overall coordination and leadership) of the Armenian air defense forces is passed to the Russian Federation.

In other words, during war or aggravation of “military-political” situation, Russia will take over Armenia’s air defense leadership.

Consequently, we regret to note that the agreement makes Armenia similar to South Ossetia and Abkhazia, one part of the power structures of which have officially become branches (subdivisions) of the Russian ones.

Daniel Ioannisyan
“Union of Informed Citizens

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