Armenia to leave Russia-led CSTO military alliance, PM Pashinyan says — Novaya Gazeta Europe
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Armenia to leave Russia-led CSTO military alliance, PM Pashinyan says

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. Photo: EPA-EFE/EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA / POOL

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. Photo: EPA-EFE/EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA / POOL

Armenia is to leave the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), a Moscow-led military alliance of post-Soviet states, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced on Wednesday.

Pashinyan declared Armenia’s withdrawal during a parliamentary session attended by government ministers, Russian news agency Interfax reported.

“We will leave. We will decide when,” Pashinyan said in response to a question from an opposition MP, who asked why Armenia had not already withdrawn from the alliance given its well-documented frustration with the organisation. “What do you think is the next step? Do you think we will go back? No, there is no other way. Don’t worry, we won’t go back,” Pashinyan added.

update

Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan said on Wednesday that Pashinyan’s comments did not mean Armenia would leave the CSTO.

“If someone claims that the Armenian Prime Minister said that Armenia is leaving the CSTO, they are mistaken,” Mirzoyan said, quoted by Interfax.

Armenia’s relationship with Russia has deteriorated in recent years, particularly when Russian peacekeeping forces refused to come to Armenia’s aid during Azerbaijan’s 2023 military operation to take control of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. Over 100,000 ethnic Armenians were subsequently forced to flee Nagorno-Karabakh.

In February, Armenia suspended its participation in the long-standing military alliance, citing Russia’s failure to respect Armenia’s eastern borders. Since then, the country has been seeking support from western countries, going so far as to hold joint military exercises with the US in September.

On Sunday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry issued a formal protest against statements condemning Russian aggression made by Armenia’s ambassador to Ukraine. On 2 June, the diplomat led a delegation to the town of Bucha in Ukraine’s Kyiv region, the site of an infamous massacre committed by Russian occupying forces.

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