Armenia’s armed forces and other state structures ended on Wednesday three-day exercises that simulated their coordinated response to the outbreak of a full-scale war, including a general mobilization.
“The aim of the exercises is to enhance relevant structures’ level of preparedness for the conditions of war,” the Armenian Defense Ministry said in a statement announcing their start on Monday.
The command and staff drills, the first of their kind ever held in Armenia, involved mock emergency meetings of President Serzh Sarkisian’s National Security Council and cabinet that resulted in concrete instructions issued to various government ministries. The National Security Council also simulated a formal request to the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) for military assistance.
Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian said earlier this month that the military and civilian authorities will practice “declaration of martial law, conduct of mobilization and resistance to aggression.” “We will be practicing Armenia’s placement on high military alert,” he said.
A Defense Ministry spokesman on Wednesday denied any connection between the drills and the recent upsurge in ceasefire violations in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone, which fuelled more talk of another Armenian-Azerbaijani war. Speaking to RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am), the official linked them with CSTO military exercises that will be held in Armenia in September.
The Defense Ministry statement likewise referred to the war simulation as “the military-political phase” of the CSTO exercises that are due to involve troops from a rapid-reaction force set by the military alliance of Russia and six other ex-Soviet states.
The CSTO secretary general, Nikolay Bordyuzha, discussed preparations for the September war games with Sarkisian and Ohanian in Yerevan on Monday.