BAKU: Russia, Armenia Launch Joint Military Exercises

RUSSIA, ARMENIA LAUNCH JOINT MILITARY EXERCISES

Assa-Irada, Azerbaijan
Sept 8 2005

Baku, September 7, AssA-Irada — Joint military exercises of Russian
and Armenian armed forces were launched in Armenia’s Armavir region
on Wednesday.

Official Yerevan and Moscow term the training as military cooperation
within the “collective security” agreement, according to the Armenian
media. Officers, soldiers and weapons of the Russian military base
deployed in Armenia’s Gumru region, as well as battalions of the
Armenian ground troops are involved in the exercises to last till
September 11. The training program also includes joint maneuvers of
the two countries’ air forces.

The launch of the military exercises amid OSCE chairman-in-office
Dimitrij Rupel’s visit to Yerevan on a peacekeeping mission and his
talks with the leadership of aggressor Armenia on the settlement of
the Upper Garabagh conflict was disapproved by some pundits. They
believe that the move may be interpreted as Moscow’s pressure on the
course of Armenia-Azerbaijan talks.*

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