YEREVAN — Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh will start next week what Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan described on Thursday as unprecedented military exercises involving a large number of troops and army reservists.
The Armenian government discussed preparations for the 12-day “strategic exercises” and approved a Defense Ministry plan to ensure coordinated activities of government bodies that will also be involved in them. In particular, they were tasked with helping the military call up many reservists and providing it with additional transport equipment.
The government did not specify the number of soldiers and reservists that will take part in the war games to be held from September 24 to October 5. The Armenian Defense Ministry also gave few details when it officially announced the drills on September 9.
The office of Bako Sahakian, the Karabakh president, said on Wednesday that “strategic exercises” will be held in Karabakh as well. Sahakian met with other senior Karabakh officials to discuss final preparations for them.
“In accordance with the defense minister’s orders, there will be mobilization processes and I am calling on our fellow citizens to actively participate in those process because this is a very important event aimed at enhancing our country’s security and testing and increasing the combat-readiness of our armed forces,” Pashinyan said during a cabinet meeting in Yerevan. “This is a planned, unprecedented and important event.”
Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan told Pashinyan that the drills will be the most large-scale in Armenia’s history. Tonoyan said a large number of army reserve soldiers will be mobilized for that purpose. The vast majority of them will be called up for one day while the others will spend up to five days at various military bases, he said.
“All issues of transport and food provision have been solved,” added the minister.
The Azerbaijani military claims to have held several major exercises this year. The most recent of those drills began on Monday and will end on Friday. According to the Defense Ministry in Baku, about 10,000 soldiers are taking part in them.