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.