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In an interview given to David Tonoyan, ARM First Deputy Defense Minister, spoke about Armenia-NATO interrelations. He noted that Armenia takes part in the NATO-led ISAF activities even with a larger regiment than that of some NATO member-countries, holds systemized consultations in the political, security and defense sectors, organizes military trainings and recently for the first time in the history North-Atlantic Council+Armenia meeting took place with the participation of the RA President. «Our relations with NATO are on a high level, and the programs implemented have a systematic character and are connected with the defense reforms undertaken in Armenia. I can more generally argue that we participate in the cooperational security with NATO», – mentioned the Deputy-Minister.

As to the collective security, in his opinion now and in the envisaged long-term perspective the results of the evaluation of the security environment and threats to it show that it is possible to realize through CSTO membership which is based on the Armenian-Russian strategic alliance. “There are some circumstances in which it is at least unrealistic to speak about collective security for us within NATO”, -said D. Tonoyan and added: “From the perspective of national interests, today Armenia runs a realistic and multivector policy. Sometimes a very important circumstance is overlooked: the membership of Armenia and other countries in the Treaty is not conditioned by the will of this country but first of all by the united consent of all the member-states of the Treaty. The very example of Georgia shows that the will of only a country, even of a number of countries, is not sufficient for NATO membership, it is necessary to have readiness to satisfy the supposed political preconditions of all the member-countries of the Treaty”.

In the words of D. Tonoyan, if in future Georgia becomes a NATO member-state, then this will result in certain new geopolitical realities in the region, and Armenia will have to take this factor into account. “For the complete view of the regional security let`s not forget that there are two other adjacent countries that are not NATO members, and with one of them we not only don`t have diplomatic relations, but also hear everyday threats from them. Being neighbour to NATO does not necessarily suppose membership. More than non-member countries today cooperate with NATO in different formats, of which five are situated in Western Europe, and seven have borders with NATO member-countries, but the “Cooperational Security” with NATO is enough for them from the perspective of national interests. These are, for example, prosperous Switzerland and Austria in the center of Europe”, – said the Deputy-Minister.

He noted that Turkey does not raise serious obstacles to the Armenia-NATO practical cooperation, although Armenia`s complicated relationship with it naturally has a negative effect on the social rating of NATO in Armenia.

D. Tonoyan believes that the security of Armenia is to be regarded not in the perspective of confrontation between NATO and CSTO, but in the perspective of our common interests and political priorities with these two organizations. Anyway, today from the perspective of security CSTO is a more effective system for Armenia. “Moreover, we do everything to make it more dynamic. This year military trainings of the CSTO Forces of Quick Reaction are to be held in Armenia, and we`ll have chance to put the effectiveness of the works in the past years to test”, -mentioned the Deputy-Minister. As to NATO, in his opinion, Armenia`s cooperation with the North-Atlantic Treaty Organization is realistic, effective and foreseeable.

Category: #11 (927) 22.03.2012 – 28.03.2012, News, Spotlight, Military-Political