Military coop issues to be considered at CSTO ministers meeting

The Council of Defence Ministers of member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) will be held in the Armenian capital on Thursday. The defence ministers of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan will consider a wide range of issues related to the improvement of the CSTO military component and development of military cooperation.

First Deputy Defence Minister Colonel-General Alexander Kolmakov will represent Russia at the meeting, head of the Armenian Defence Ministry's press service Colonel Seyran Shahsuvaryan told Itar-Tass.

On Friday, the Council members will watch the final stage of the Rubezh-2008 (Frontier-2008) joint command-staff exercise of the CSTO that will be held at the USSR Marshal Ivan Bagramyan Training Centre of the Armenian Defence Ministry.

The CSTO joint command and staff exercise Rubezh-2008 is being held in Russia and Armenia in summer-autumn 2008. The aim of Rubezh-2008 is to help develop the military component of the CSTO states (Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russian Federation, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan). For the first time in the CSTO history the military exercise is conducted at three levels: operative, strategic, and tactical, covering all areas of collective security. About 4,000 servicemen from Armenia, Russia and Tajikistan participate in these manoeuvres. Other CSTO members are represented by military staff from respective defence ministries.

The first stage of Rubezh-2008 started in Yerevan on 22 July. The solemn opening ceremony of Rubezh-2008 took place at the House of Receptions of Republic of Armenia (RA) Government. Ministry of Emergency Situations, National Security Service and Police, representatives of different governmental agencies of Armenia, delegations of the participant-countries, and foreign military attaches accredited in Armenia took part in this event. Armenian Defence Minister Seyran Ohanyan, speaking at the opening of the Rubezh-2008 military exercise said that these exercise constituted the first large-scale joint manoeuvres held by the Collective Security Treaty Organization.

The first stage of Rubezh-2008 focused on the issues of working out the proposals and decisions of the CSTO member-states authorities in responding to a possible aggression. The operation groups of the CSTO Secretariat and United Headquarters partook in the first stage; they reported on their proposals aimed at enhancing the CSTO potential in stabilizing the situation in the region.

The second stage of "Rubezh-2008" started in Moscow at the United Headquarters of CSTO on July 30. The aim of the second stage was to fine-tune the process of rendering military and military-technical help to CSTO states in case of external aggression.

The third stage of the exercise will highlight the organization of a joint defence operation to protect sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state that faces aggression.

Troops' command and control issues will be covered by the fourth stage, constituting a practical exercise, which are be held on the territory of the Training Centre on 18-22 August.

[Source: UzReport, Uzbekistan, 21Aug08]

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