Russia and Armenia are planning to create a joint combat force in the Caucasus region, according to a draft document published on Russia’s official web portal of legal information on Tuesday.
A unified command structure will be created to manage the force, which will be established to ensure the security of parties in the Caucasus region. The group’s prerogatives will include repelling any armed attack on either party, as well as defending the state borders of Armenia and Russia.
According to the posted document, the commander of the unit will be appointed and dismissed by the Supreme Commander of the Armenian Armed Forces (Armenia’s President) in agreement with the Supreme Commander of the Russian Armed Forces (Russia’s President). Once signed, the agreement will be valid for five years, and be automatically renewed unless one of the parties expresses a desire to abrogate it.
The process for ensuring the group’s combat readiness, subordination of national elements to Joint Command, its deployment and use is defined by the Regulations on the Joint Group of Forces of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia and the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. Instructions on the operational management of the group to its commander will be defined by the Russian Southern Military District and the operational command of the Armenian General Staff, and then signed off on by the Chief of Staff of both countries.
According to the agreement, in peacetime, the commander of the group will be subordinated to the Armenian General Staff; in wartime he may be subordinated to the commander of the Russian Southern Military District. The document has been submitted to the Russian president for signature.
Russia and Armenia are both parties to the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a defensive alliance of six countries formed in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union to ensure regional security.