Armenia suspends participation in Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organisation

Armenia has “frozen” its participation in the Russian-dominated Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan told French television channel France 24 on Thursday.

Pashinyan said that the CSTO, a military alliance of six former Soviet states, had “not fulfilled its security obligations” towards Armenia and that this “could not go unnoticed”.

The announcement comes amid continuing tensions between Armenia and neighbouring Azerbaijan, with Pashinyan saying a fresh Azerbaijani attack on Armenia was “very likely” with Baku considering Armenia to be “western Azerbaijan” and planning on seizing new territories.

He also said that Azerbaijan’s failure to respect Armenia’s territorial integrity and the inviolability of its borders made a peace treaty between the two nations “simply not possible”.

Pashinyan also accused Russia of waging a propaganda campaign against him and “openly calling for the Armenian population to overthrow the government”.

He also criticised the Kremlin for what he called the “kidnapping” of Russian deserter Dmitry Setrakov, who was forcibly returned to Russia after being captured by soldiers in the Armenian city of Gyumri in December, and threatened Russia with “consequences” for its “illegal actions” on territory.

Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported that the CSTO Secretariat in Moscow had not received notification of Armenia’s suspension of its participation in the alliance, suggesting that Pashinyan had simply been referring to Armenia’s boycott of the last CSTO summit in Minsk in November.

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