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Armenia withdraws from Russian security alliance

Armenia withdraws from Russian security alliance

After Azerbaijan’s military offensive, relations between Armenia and Russia have cooled. Armenia feels abandoned by its ally – and is now drawing conclusions.

Armenia has suspended its participation in a security alliance dominated by Russia – and is thus moving further away from Moscow. “In practice, we have frozen our participation in this organization,” said Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in an interview with France 24 broadcast on Friday, referring to the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).

The CSTO “did not meet its goals towards Armenia in 2021 and 2022,” Pashinyan justified the move. He also accused Moscow of conducting a “coordinated propaganda campaign” against him and his government in Yerevan.

The Russian-dominated organization includes six former Soviet states. The CSTO statutes state that an attack on one member country is considered an attack on all member countries.

Armenia goes West

The Kremlin said Friday it had not received official confirmation of Armenia’s withdrawal from the organization. “We intend to contact our Armenian colleagues to clarify their statements about the CSTO,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian news agencies.

Tensions between Yerevan and Moscow had recently increased because of the role of Russian peacekeepers in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is contested between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Armenia felt abandoned by its traditional ally because Russia did not intervene in the face of the Azerbaijani military offensive. Azerbaijan took complete control of Nagorno-Karabakh in a large-scale military offensive in September.

Against the background of a further possible threat from its neighboring country, Armenia has since turned increasingly towards the West, especially France and the USA, and has thus drawn criticism from Russia. Despite Russian warnings, Armenia also officially joined the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the beginning of February. This means that Armenia would have to arrest Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has been sentenced by the court, during a visit.

Source: Stern

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