Armenia Sparks Rumors About Its Continued Membership In Putin’s CSTO

( – Armenia was once part of the Soviet Union but voted to proclaim independence in 1991 after it fell. It elected its first president in November of that year and then joined the Commonwealth of Independent States that December. In May 1992, it joined the Collective Security Treaty and became part of the organization that was created in 2003. Now, there are rumblings that it may withdraw.

The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) is a Eurasia military alliance that is made up of six former Soviet states, including Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Armenia. It’s considered to be similar to NATO in the respect that an attack on one is considered an attack on all.

Russian state media reports indicated that Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced his intention to withdraw the country from the CSTO. However, officials in Armenia have disputed that he ever said that. According to Tass, a Russian state media outlet, Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan said Pashinyan “said that we will decide when to withdraw, but we will not go back,” citing video of the speech as confirmation.

Pashinyan has accused Moscow of “not fulfill[ing] its objectives as far as Armenia is concerned, particularly in 2021 and 2022,” when the nation was in a conflict with Azerbaijan over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenian officials called Russia’s loyalty into question when they didn’t intervene and the country eventually lost the breakaway region and its population forced to flee.

As such, Pashinyan feels his country cannot rely on Russia for defense. One of the benefits, in that Armenia enjoyed discounted costs for Russian weapons, disappeared after Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022. In that respect, Armenia’s continued participation in the CTSO is up in the air.

The Asian country has since frozen its participation the in treaty alliance, snubbed summits, and canceled involvement in its joint military drills.

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