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Armenia Suspends Participation In Russia-Led Regional Military Alliance

23.02.2024 10:57

Alliance failed to fulfill its objectives 'as far as Armenia is concerned,' says Armenian prime minister.

Armenia has suspended its participation in a Russia-led regional military alliance, the country's prime minister announced.

"Today, in practice, we have frozen our participation in this treaty, in this organization. As for what comes next, we shall have to see," Nikol Pashinyan told an interview with French television France24.

Pashinyan said the Collective Security Treaty Organization, or CSTO, which consists of six post-Soviet states, has failed to fulfill its objectives "as far as Armenia is concerned, particularly in 2021 and 2022. And we could not let that happen without taking notice."

The Armenian premier added that his country was not currently considering closing the Russian military base, which "was not established in the framework" of the CSTO, but in that of another treaty.

Other former Soviet members of the alliance are Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.

Pashinyan also accused Azerbaijan of allegedly preparing a new attack on Armenia.

"If we consider Baku's official remarks, we can presume that a new attack on Armenia is strongly probable and plausible," he argued.

The Armenian premier also criticized Azerbaijan for "publicly protesting" each collaboration between Armenia and France.

In a joint news conference with Pashinyan in Paris, President Emmanuel Macron vowed France's "continuing support" to Armenia with "defense weapons."

France confirmed in the fall of 2023 the delivery of military material to Armenia for defense purposes, including radars.

Relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.

Azerbaijan liberated most of the region during the war in the fall of 2020, which ended with a Russian-brokered peace agreement, opening the door to normalization.

Last September, Baku initiated an "anti-terrorism operation" in Karabakh to establish "constitutional order," after which the remaining separatist forces in the region surrendered. -

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