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May 23
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Everyone is diversifying their relationships, Russia also is diversifying its relationships in the South Caucasus. It began before us. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated this in an interview with several members of the UK media.

"And that’s where the issue with the CSTO emerged, because currently within the CSTO, and from the positions of the CSTO, and this began quite a long time ago, even before the 2020 war, Russia conducted an equal and parallel policy towards Armenia and Azerbaijan.

The policy of diversifying relationships in this region started from the Russian Federation, actually there is a date of it, between 2012-2013 Russia’s policy was that Armenia was Russia’s ally in the South Caucasus, and Azerbaijan was a partner, and, by the way, that was all in the framework of the CSTO. The whole meaning of that was that the CSTO was very specifically to safeguard the security of the Republic of Armenia. But in 2013 Russia and Azerbaijan signed several billion USD worth arms acquisition contract, and that was the point after which the Russian Federation started to diversify its relationship with Azerbaijan.

I want to draw our attention to the fact that on February 21 or 22 of 2022 Russia and Azerbaijan signed a strategic partnership declaration. That declaration stipulates, among other things, the need to agree upon policies, and this is a public document. One can assume that something that is declared between countries, including security cooperation, consultation on policies, is actually happening, otherwise such a declaration would have no meaning.

Why would countries sign a declaration if they were not to implement it? Especially when even before the signing of that declaration there were at least two situations in which it was clearly manifested that the CSTO was not implementing its responsibilities towards Armenia," Pashinyan stated.

Referring to the statement from Russia that they suggested sending the CSTO peacekeepers to the Armenia-Azerbaijan border, the Armenian premier said: " I am sorry, but that statement destroys the functionality of the CSTO, because if they were to come, they would have come to the Armenia-Azerbaijan border as an ally of Armenia, not as peacekeepers or peacemakers. Many say Armenia said about the CSTO this or that, or this is what Armenia did within the CSTO, but Armenia did nothing to the CSTO, the CSTO did to itself with its statements, actions and inaction.

Under these circumstances we cannot pretend that we are not noticing all of that. At the moment we have in practice frozen our participation in the CSTO, and as I can see if there is still a possibility of warming up our relationship with the organization, but if things continue the way they are, if the political statements continue, than that line will also be crossed for resuming participation in the CSTO, which will then be rendered as practically impossible."

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