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April 24
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At Wednesday’s session of the National Assembly, opposition MP Agnesa Khamoyan asked Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan whether Armenia was going to leave the CSTO.

In response, Pashinyan said: "We [Armenia] are not going to, nor do we have such a thing in mind to ‘bring anyone to their senses;’ I would advise not to use such vocabulary.

"I would prefer to say that we did not refuse, but made a decision not to attend those [CSTO] events for various reasons. As for whether I am preparing the grounds for anything, I am not preparing the grounds for anything because those grounds are either there or not, regardless of our preparation.

"The most important record related to our positions is that, sadly, the CSTO, despite its de jure mandatory obligations, did not respond properly to Armenia's security challenges; it was repeated several times. With all due respect to all our [CSTO] partners, we record that it is not clear to our public either, why we go and repeat the same things every time without getting any response, leave, go back, then go again the next time, repeat the same things.

"The biggest fundamental problem is that the de jure CSTO essentially refuses to record its zone of responsibility in Armenia, which may mean that we, by silently participating in these conditions, can join the logic that would in any way question the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Armenia. We cannot afford such a thing. We make such decisions in order to give ourselves and CSTO time to think about the future courses of action."

Also, Pashinyan stated that Armenia did not refuse that the CSTO send a mission to the country.

"We have said: ‘Where are you sending the mission? Please show the Armenia you imagine.’ We were not shown, we showed [it], we said that ‘this record should be made.’ The CSTO has not done this, and since it has not done so, we cannot accept such a mission because it will turn out that we are legitimizing the blurred image of Armenia, [and] we are legitimizing the invasions of Azerbaijan also.

"I have said very clearly that we are diversifying our security relations because our partners, including for objective reasons, are not able to sell us weapons and ammunition. We are looking for and finding other security partners, we are trying to conclude contracts, acquire weapons, military equipment.

"Strategically, we are not going to announce a policy change unless we decide to leave the CSTO," said the Armenian PM.

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