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Pashinyan: ‘we will leave’ Russia-led security pact

12 June 2024
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan (right) and Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan at the CSTO summit in Dushanbe in September 2021. Image via Armenian Public Radio.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan appears to have confirmed that Armenia plans to leave the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), after being heckled by an opposition MP.

At a questions and answers session in parliament on Wednesday, Pashinyan said Armenia was yet to decide when exactly they leave, but that there was ‘no other way’.

The comments came after Pashinyan again accused CSTO members of helping Azerbaijan in its attacks on Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia.

Tadevos Avetisyan, an MP from the opposition Armenia Alliance, had questioned if the government asked themselves what the state of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh would be if they were not in power. Pashinyan responded that they did, and were acting according to the answer they came up with.

He said he had told the opposition that the existence of Armenian statehood was in danger. Asked who the culprit was, Pashinyan put the blame on his predecessor, Serzh Sargsyan’s government for relying on ties with Russia and the CSTO.

‘The culprits are those who formed some sort of “bubble alliance”, whose members turned out to, instead of fulfilling their contractual obligations, go and plan a war against us with Azerbaijan’, he said. 

An MP is then reported to have shouted ‘then leave it [the CSTO]!’, to which Pashinyan hit back: ‘we will leave’.


‘Are you trying to scare [us] with that?’ he asked. ‘We will decide when to leave. According to you, what should the next step be? Do you think we will go back? There is no other way.’ 

‘Let me tell you where we are going, and I will even say that we have almost arrived’, Pashinyan said.

‘We are going to the real Armenia, a sovereign, safe, peaceful, state with demarcated borders. Don't worry, we won't go back. We’re just not telling you too early, so that your mood doesn’t drop suddenly.’

In an apparent attempt to walk back Pashinyan’s comments, Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan claimed that Pashinyan had not said Armenia would leave the CSTO.

‘The Armenian Prime Minister did not say that we are leaving the CSTO. He said we will decide when we leave, we will decide, but we will not go back’, Mirzoyan said.

‘This is what he said, no less, of course, and no more. If anyone claims that the Armenian PM said that Armenia is leaving the CSTO, they are wrong and this is very easy to prove’.

Armenia’s relations with Russia and the CSTO have been in freefall since the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War in 2020. 

Many in Armenia have become increasingly frustrated with the country’s traditional security partners, after both Russia and the CSTO failed to send assistance during Azerbaijani incursions into Armenia in 2021 and 2022.

Azerbaijan is not a member of the CSTO, and members are treaty-bound to intervene when one of their own is attacked.

After Azerbaijan took new positions within Armenia in 2022, the CSTO offered only to send a ‘fact-finding mission’, declining even to lay the blame on Azerbaijan. This came in contrast to several Western countries that called on Azerbaijan to withdraw its troops.

Earlier this week, Russia’s foreign ministry criticised Armenia for declining to pay its contributions to the CSTO.

Read in Georgian on On.ge.
Read in Russian on SOVA.News.
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