July 20
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The further erosion of Armenia's sovereignty in security and its transition to western patterns under the "paper umbrella" of the US and NATO will simply make it impossible to maintain a shared defense area with Russia and within the framework of the CSTO, Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mikhail Galuzin told Komsomolskaya Pravda.

A sharp narrowing of bilateral political contacts took place under the influence of Western narratives, noted the Russian deputy FM.

"Unfounded criticisms of Russia, the CSTO, and the existing security system are being heard more and more often from Yerevan. This is destructive and short-sighted, to put it mildly," says Galuzin.

In his opinion, Armenia's full participation in the CSTO corresponds to the aspirations of the Armenian people and serves the cause of maintaining peace and stability in the South Caucasus.

"No matter what the Westerners promise, who pushed the Armenian authorities to ‘freeze’ participation in the Organization, there are no effective alternatives to the CSTO as a mechanism for ensuring Armenia's security today," the Russian diplomat said.

The work toward building the CSTO's potential is proceeding systematically, leaving Armenia behind, added the Russian deputy FM.

"New crisis response algorithms are being developed, the capabilities of the organization's Collective Forces are being strengthened—taking into account the Russian combat experience, and serious program documents are being adopted to ensure the border security of our allies in Central Asia," said Galuzin.

Moscow has repeatedly and at various levels clearly expressed its readiness to discuss the issues that concern Yerevan, the Russian diplomat noted.

"They emphasized that Moscow has been and remains committed to the entire range of agreements, both at the bilateral level and within the framework of shared integration structures, and has not abandoned its commitments to its allies. At the same time, we have not received a response to our various initiatives," said the Russian deputy FM.

According to Galuzin, Russia expects that "the leadership of Armenia will have enough political wisdom to understand the illusory nature of the West's promises and the importance of relations with Russia from the point of view of the republic's sovereignty, security, and economic development."

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