YEREVAN (Armenpress)–An Armenian delegation–led by defense minister Serge Sarkisian left today for Russia’s Astrakhan to take part in the firing exercises at the training range Ashuluk held within the CIS joint air defense system as part of multinational maneuvers that began Monday.
The exercises involve air defense units from Armenia–Belarus–Kyrgyzstan–Tajikistan–Kazakhstan–as well as air force units from Russia and Ukraine.
They will be supervised by the chairman of the coordinating committee for air defense under the Council of the CIS Defense Ministers–the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Air Force–Army General Anatoly Kornukov. This is the third such exercise since August 1998 when it involved four CIS states and five in 1999.
The purpose of the exercise is to increase the combat readiness of CIS air defense units. Representatives of the Moldavian–Georgian–Azeri and Turkmen defense ministries will attend as observers at the final stage of the exercise.
At the end of the exercises the defense ministers will meet to discuss the results and outline plans for further development of the joint air defense system and creation of an CIS anti-terrorist center.