Yerevan /Mediamax/. Armenia will host the 11th NATO Week on December 13-18. Ahead of the event, the parties have held a press conference in the NATO Information Center in Armenia to discuss the Armenia-NATO partnership.
Deputy Head of NATO Liaison Office in Georgia Rosaria Puglis has attached important to the NATO Week in terms of representation of the partnership in its full capacity to the Armenian public.
“We are grateful to Armenia for 121 peacekeepers stationed in Afghanistan and another 35 serving in Kosovo. Given that Armenia is a small country, we highly appreciate this contribution. However, our cooperation is not limited to the military sector. We have a range of programs concerning good governance in defense sector, as well as military education, building integrity, etc,” she said.
Rosaria Puglisi has noted that Armenia is a “stable and reliable” partner for NATO.
“We know what Armenia wants and we are happy with that,” she stated.
Ms Puglisi has announced that NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller would visit Armenia on December 18.
Armenia-NATO cooperation in 2017
Head of the Arms Control and International Security Department of the Armenian Foreign Ministry, Ambassador Armen Yedigaryan has stated that 2017 was a saturated year for Armenia-NATO cooperation and included multiple visits, negotiations, and comprehensive discussions.
“Armenia has been successfully executing the Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) with NATO since 2006. This April, the North Atlantic Council adopted the 5th document (IPAP) outlining our cooperation for 2017-2019. This year we successfully completed the negotiations on the first Armenia-NATO Trust Fund and signed the corresponding agreement,” he said.
NATO standards and Armenia
Chief of the Defense Policy Department of the Armenian Defense Ministry Levon Ayvazyan has stated that the priority issues of cooperation with NATO in this sector are all long-term. Armenia carries on the peacekeeping missions in Afghanistan and Kosovo in the same scale. Another priority is to develop capacities for cooperation and bring the Armenian peacekeeping brigade’s capacities up to NATO standards.
“We are creating new capacities in accordance with the standards. We have long-term cooperation in military cooperation and retraining as well: we receive consultations within NATO’s expanded educational program. We also work on reforms in the defense sector, holding various events dedicated to building integrity and increasing women’s involvement,” he said.
Levon Ayvazyan has added that Armenia not only actively works with NATO as an organization, but also maintains bilateral cooperation with the member states of the alliance.
The Trust Fund
One of the main achievements of Armenia-NATO partnership of 2017 is the Trust Fund, designed for destruction of unusable arms and military equipment. The main sponsor of the program is Germany.
Ambassador of Germany to Armenia Matthias Kiesler has said that the fund plays an important and responsible role for Germany regarding introduction of tools for arms control.
“We expect destruction of 21 unusable military vehicles and more than 140 unusable combat systems,” said the Ambassador.