Since joining the PfP in 1994, Armenia has contributed to Euro-Atlantic security alongside NATO Allies. Since 2004, Armenia has been contributing troops to the Kosovo Force (KFOR). Currently, it contributes one infantry platoon of 35 personnel to KFOR. Since 2009, Armenia has also been contributing forces to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. Currently it provides three platoons to ISAF. With the deployment of 80 additional personnel in mid-June 2011, Armenia increased its contribution to ISAF from 40 to 120. An additional five infantry trainers deployed to Afghanistan in July 2011.
Armenia is cooperating with NATO and individual Allies on facilitating the interoperability of the Armenian Peacekeeping Battalion to become a brigade with associated combat support and combat service support units by 2015 with those of NATO countries. Experts in military education and training from NATO and Partners nations, coordinated by NATO staff, work with Armenian military officials to review Armenia’s progress on the Military Education Concept. This concept will provide guidance for the development of revised junior and senior officer staff courses.
The PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP) is a core element of Armenia’s cooperation with NATO, which is helping to develop the ability of its forces to work with NATO forces on operations. One NATO nation in coordination with NATO staff is also supporting the introduction of civilian personnel to the Armenian Ministry of Defence. Armenia participates in PARP process since 2002.
Armenia contributes to the fight against terrorism through its participation in the Partnership Action Plan on Terrorism (PAP-T). This includes sharing intelligence and analysis with NATO, enhancing national counter-terrorist training capabilities and improving border security.
Border security experts from NATO and Partners nations have also supported border security improvements. A report produced by these experts in 2010 provided recommendations to the Armenian State Border Force; these have been translated in goals for the State Border Force to improve border security. A further NATO-Armenia workshop on border security took place in October 2011.
In consultation with NATO, Armenia has begun a process of reviewing its national crisis-management procedures and arrangements.
NATO has no direct role in negotiations aimed at resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which are being conducted in the framework of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group. However, NATO takes an interest in this process and encourages all sides to continue their efforts aimed at a peaceful resolution of the conflict. Peaceful resolution of conflicts is a core value of NATO, and is one of the core commitments that all Partner countries commit to when joining the Partnership for Peace (PfP).
Defence and security sector reform
NATO is supportive of the wide-ranging democratic and institutional reform process underway in Armenia. In the area of defence and security sector reform, NATO and individual Allies have considerable expertise that Armenia can draw upon.
A key priority for Armenia is to ensure democratic control of the armed forces, which is being reinforced by its participation in the Partnership Action Plan on Defence Institution Building.
Armenia has consulted with NATO Allies on the development of a National Security Strategy and a new Military Doctrine. Using guidance provided by these documents, Armenia completed its Strategic Defence Review in May 2011 and initiated its implementation, Armenia and NATO staff, supported by national experts, are in consultations over Armenian defence planning and budgeting procedures which will be key tools for the implementation of the Strategic Defence Review and the development of its defence plans.
NATO and Armenia are cooperating on the establishment of a situation centre in Yerevan. This centre will assist in crisis-management and counter-terrorism coordination.
Civil emergency planning
Armenia is determined to improve its emergency preparedness and response capabilities to deal with disasters and asymmetric threats. In the context of the IPAP, the Armenian Rescue Service is taking a number of measures to improve contingency planning and is actively contributing to the establishment of the planned government crisis-management centre. Armenia is also working to enhance links with the NATO-based Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC) in order to contribute to international disaster relief operations. The Armenian Rescue Service is preparing two teams (search and rescue and chemical, biological, radiation and nuclear experts) to be made available for disaster relief operations. In September 2010, Armenia hosted a large NATO/Partnership for Peace consequence management field exercise called “Armenia 2010”.
Science and environment
Under the Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme, Armenia has received grant awards for about 38 projects for scientific and environmental collaboration. Projects undertaken include the prevention of, detection of, and response to, nuclear and radiological threats, risk assessment on natural disasters, water security, and cataloguing discarded pesticides to lay the groundwork for their proper disposal.
Researchers from Armenia have also been working on a SPS funded project in the Caucasus region designed to gather comprehensive seismic observations, conduct hazard analyses and prepare for effective and prompt response to emergencies.
Other projects include collaboration on improving trans-boundary water quality with Azerbaijan and Georgia, as well as network technology studies. Armenia also participated in the Virtual Silk Highway project, which aims to improve internet access for academics and research communities in the countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia through a satellite-based network.
SPS also sponsors workshops in Armenia, including one in Yerevan in May 2009 that examined issues related to nuclear power and energy security. In total, scientists and experts from Armenia have had leading roles in 143 activities.
Annually, Armenia organizes a NATO week to raise public awareness of NATO and Armenia’s cooperation with the Alliance. It is also undertaking efforts to improve public information in support of its defence and security reforms. In line with this, NATO continues to provide advice and support where requested, including relevant training and consultations. A NATO information centre was officially opened in Yerevan in 2007 with the support of the Armenian government and NATO.
In every partner country an embassy of one of the NATO member states serves as a contact point and operates as a channel for disseminating information about the role and policies of the Alliance. The current NATO Contact Point Embassy in Armenia is the embassy of the United Kingdom.