POTENTIAL AGGRESSOR TO ATTACK ARMENIA
by Denis Telmanov
What the Papers Say (Russia)
July 31, 2008 Thursday
THE CAUCASUS IS TO BECOME AN ARENA OF INCESSANT MILITARY EXERCISES;
The CIS Collective Security Treaty Organization is running a joint
Phase two of Frontier’2008, command post exercise of the CIS Collective
Security Treaty Organization, began in Moscow. Staff officers of
Organization’s defense ministers are charting an operation necessary
to defend Armenia from an aggressor. Whatever is planned at this
point will be tested in the field in the course of phases three and
four of the exercise scheduled for late August.
Senior Assistant to Organization’s Secretary General Lieutenant
General Oleg Latypov, said yesterday that the legend of the exercise
stood for an aggression against Armenia. It should be noted that
the potential aggressor bears no resemblance to NATO countries or
Actual maneuvering with live-fire exercises will take place during
the third and forth phases of the exercise on August 18-22. They will
be commanded by Armenian Defense Minister Sejran Oganjan and involve
personnel of the 102nd Russian Military Base. As a matter of fact,
units singled out for participation have been moved already to the
shooting range 40 kilometers from the capital city of Yerevan.
Council of Defense Ministers of the Organization will meet in Yerevan
to analyze the exercise and discuss what problems have cropped up.
Valery Semerikov, another secretary general’s assistant, admitted
slowness in making the decision to help an Organization member against
aggressor as one of the problems. "We’ll try to do something about
it before the Council of Defense Ministers," Semerikov said.
Along with everything else, the meeting will discuss the idea of
making Frontier exercises biannual instead of annual so as to focus
on coordination between staffs in the interims. Most members of the
Organization approve so that the next exercise will probably take
place in 2010.
This is a first Frontier exercise to be run at strategic, operational,
and tactical levels at once. Also importantly, this is a first exercise
run on the territory of the Caucasus collective security zone. Almost
4,000 servicemen from Russia, Armenia, and Tajikistan will be involved.
Frontier’2008 is to be run right in the wake of Caucasus’2008,
a major exercise of the Russian Armed Forces involving over 8,000
men. NATO will run its own exercise in Armenia between September 29
and October 21. Over 1,000 servicemen from 21 country will participate
in Cooperative Longbow/Lancer’2008.
Frontier organizers say it is fine by them. They point out that
Armenia is a sovereign country choosing its own partners to run joint
"As for me, I view participation of the Armenian army in a NATO
exercise as just another phase of its training. Let them learn all
they can," Semerikov said. "Life shows that we will have to face
common problems whether we want it or not. And no, we do not view
NATO as an enemy."