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YEREVAN. – Yuri Khachaturov will step down as Secretary General of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in the coming days, according to Zhamanak (Time) newspaper of Armenia. 

“The presidents of all four CSTO member countries have given their consent to the Armenia leadership’s petition to recall Khachaturov.

“There is virtually no doubt that Armenia will not be allowed to nominate a new candidate in that position.

“Also, it is hard to predict [whether] Khachaturov will return to Armenia after leaving office, or go into hiding in Russia, by [former Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces and ex-Defense Minister of Armenia] Mikayel Harutyunyan’s example,” Zhamanak wrote.

Incumbent CSTO Secretary General and Armenia’s former Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Khachaturov has been charged in Armenia within the framework of the criminal case into the tragic events that transpired in capital city Yerevan on March 1 and 2, 2008—and under Article 300.1 Paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code; that is, breaching Armenia’s constitutional order, in conspiracy with others. On July 27, however, Khachaturov was released on bail; and on August 4, he returned to Moscow to his duties as CSTO Secretary General. 

On March 1 and 2, 2008, the then authorities used force against the opposition members who were rallying in downtown Yerevan, and against the results of the recent presidential election. Eight demonstrators as well as two servicemen of the internal troops were killed in the clashes. But no one had been brought to account for these deaths, to this day.

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