"Integration of national air defense systems in collective security areas is becoming a dictate of the times," said Gen. Vladimir Mikhailov, commander-in-chief of the Russian Air Force.
He is chairing a session of the Air Defense Coordination Committee of the CIS Defense Ministers Council in the Armenian capital.
Gen. Mikhailov said that expanding the common air defense area will help "not only enhance the capabilities of alert-duty assets, but will also ensure a substantial saving of resources."
He said priority should be given to building regional air defense systems in the East European, Caucasus, and Central Asian regions, based on corresponding interstate agreements, adding that one such agreement will soon be signed between Russia and Belarus.
Gen. Yury Baluyevsky, chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, said last November that CIS nations have already developed common air defense and communications systems, and are continuing to work on other joint defense systems.
An integrated air defense network was set up by 10 CIS-member countries on February 10, 1995, but appears largely to exist on paper.