The Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) has launched large-scale military exercises in the South Caucasus nation of Armenia.
Around 2,000 troops from Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan are conducting five days of war games.
Armenian Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian said the aim of the exercises was to create a "regional force that can neutralize potential threats."
The war games could prove unsettling to two South Caucasus neighbors -- Azerbaijan, which remains in a hostile dispute with Armenia over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, and Georgia, which fought a brief war with Russia in 2008 and still views the Kremlin as a military threat.
Based on reporting by AFP and ITAR-TASS