ASTANA, May 15 (RIA Novosti) – Kazakhstan’s upper house of parliament ratified Thursday an agreement with Russia on establishing a joint regional air defense shield, a Novosti-Kazakhstan correspondent has reported.
The shield will become part of the unified air defense system of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), a loose alliance of former Soviet states, comprising Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
“The forces of the unified regional air defense system of Kazakhstan and Russia are led by a commander appointed by the Kazakh and Russian presidents upon the recommendation of defense ministers from both sides,” a committee on international affairs, defense and security said in a report.
The planned shield would be used only in times of war, while in time of peace the respective agencies together with the commander will fulfill only routine duties, a report says.
Moscow signed an agreement to set up an integrated regional air defense network with Kazakhstan last year. Russia has such a network with Belarus, while a similar deal with Armenia has been in the works for some time.