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Post-Soviet security bloc miltiary drills kick off in Armenia

September 30, 2015, 9:45 UTC+3 YEREVAN

The drills are codenamed Enduring Brotherhood and are aimed at preparation and conduct of peacekeeping operations by the CSTO Collective Peacekeeping Forces in the Caucasus

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© Fotolure/ITAR-TASS/Mkhitar Khachatryan/Archive

YEREVAN, September 30. /TASS/. The Joint exercise of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) peacekeeping forces codenamed Nerushimoe Bratstvo (Enduring Brotherhood) is beginning in Armenia on Wednesday.

The drills are held in accordance with the decision of the CSTO Council of Defense Ministers and the Committee of CSTO Security Council Secretaries, adopted in December 2014. The maneuvers are aimed at "preparation and conduct of peacekeeping operations by the CSTO Collective Peacekeeping Forces in the Caucasus region of collective security."

The exercise will involve representatives and units of the Armed Forces and law enforcement agencies of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan, which are members of the CSTO Collective Peacekeeping Forces. In addition, representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), as well as the Joint Staff and the Secretariat of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation will attend the drills.

The Armenian Defense Ministry reported previously that "the commanders and staffs during the exercise will drill preparation of a peacekeeping operation and command and control of units of the CSTO Collective Peacekeeping Forces."

The Russian army is represented at the drills by 100 troops of the peacekeeping brigade of the Central Military District and 10 military hardware units, a Defense Ministry official told TASS.

The total number of troops contributed to the CSTO Collective Peacekeeping Forces is about 4,000, including about 500 officers of law enforcement bodies and the emergencies ministries. The Nerushimoe Bratstvo peacekeeping exercise is held annually since 2012.

The Collective Security Treaty was signed on May 15, 1992 in Tashkent, by the heads of six countries: Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Subsequently, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Belarus joined it. The treaty came into force on April 20, 1994. In April 1999, the Protocol on prolongation of the Collective Security Treaty was signed by six of them (except for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Uzbekistan).

The key objectives of the CSTO are ensuring national and collective security, intensive military-political cooperation and integration, foreign policy coordination on international and regional security issues, the establishment of multilateral cooperation mechanisms, including a military component, the development of cooperation in the counteraction to modern challenges and security threats, such as international terrorism, drug trafficking, illegal migration, transnational organised crime, information and cyber security, military-technical cooperation.

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