Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, who snubbed a summit of the Collective Security Treaty Organization last week, did not rule out the possibility of Armenia exiting the Russia-led security bloc as he again accused the group of not honoring its obligations to Armenia.
A leading member of Pashinyan’s Civil Contract party on Monday signaled that Armenia could leave the CSTO because of the group’s hesitance to support Armenia, especially when Azerbaijani forces breached Armenia’s sovereign borders in September 2022 and May 2021.
“There is a defined situation in which we would definitely leave [the CSTO,]” Gevorg Papoyan, Civil Contract’s deputy chairman, told reporters on Monday. “We don’t have that situation yet.”
“But there is also a situation where we would definitely participate in those [CSTO] meetings. There is no such situation either,” he said, referring to Yerevan’s effective non-participation in the alliance’s program and activities.
The CSTO secretary general on Monday downplayed Pashinyan’s decision to attend last week’s summit.
Imangali Tasmagambetov said that Pashinyan did not fly to Minsk, the capital of Belarus, for the summit last Thursday for merely “technical” reasons.
“In my view, it makes no sense to draw any categorical conclusions from this situation,” Tasmagambetov told the TASS news agency. “Armenia was and remains our ally.”
Tasmagambetov is scheduled to visit Yerevan.
The Russian foreign ministry, however, accused Pashinyan and his government of planning a “radical change” if its geopolitical orientation, claiming that the United States and the European Union are pushing Yerevan to abandon Russia.
Over the weeken, the Kremlin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed the criticism of the CSTO voiced by Pashinyan and other Armenian leaders.
He expressed hope that Yerevan will soon resume its “full-fledged participation in the organization.”