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Embassy News 2005

U.S. Embassy Grants Eight Vehicles to Armenia's Border Guards

March 14, 2005

"The Armenian Government has taken on the challenge of securing its borders, and the U.S. Embassy is proud to help with this important effort," U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission Anthony F. Godfrey said today at an official ceremony to mark the U.S. Embassy's (EXBS) Export Control and Related Border Security Assistance Program's grant of eight vehicles to the National Security Service of Armenia's Border Guards. The vehicles include 3 NIVA's, 2 LADA's and 3 Specialized Alternate Terrain Vehicles (ATV's) for off-road patrolling. Border Guard Troop Commander Vjacheslav Voskanian participated in the ceremony at Border Guard Headquarters.

"EXBS is one of the most important assistance programs the U.S. Embassy is involved in," DCM Godfrey told journalists at the event, "Stopping the proliferation of biological and chemical weapons through proper boarder controls is very important to all countries, and we are gald to see that Armenia has made it a high priority."

Asked about assistance levels for this type of program in 2005, DCM Godfrey responded, "This is not the first border and customs grant we have undertaken, and it is certainly not the last. We have a budget of $1.3 million for this year, which will go toward both equipment transfer and training."

The Export Control and Related Border Security Assistance Program, administered by the Department of State and the U.S. Homeland Security Agency, has been operating in Armenia since 2000. The Program operates in more than 45 countries, and is designed to strengthen and secure borders by providing the latest in interdiction equipment, and by developing the enforcement skills of both the Border Guards and Customs Service in the fight against worldwide terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, and chemical and biological warfare.

The EXBS Program for Armenia continues to conduct formal training seminars both locally and in the United States in order to provide Border Guards and Customs Inspectors with the advanced techniques of investigation necessary to identify sophisticated nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.

Over the last several years the EXBS Assistance Program has equipped the Border Guards and Customs Services of Armenia with various types of inspection and detection equipment: a radio-communication system, several types of border sensors, metal detectors, vehicles, computer equipment, cargo truck scales, and X-ray units. Last year, the EXBS Assistance Program initiated several construction projects to upgrade the Border Guards Port of Entry checkpoint facility at Bagratashen, Border Guards barracks at the Gogavan Port of Entry, and both Border Guard and Customs training facilities in Yerevan.