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Armenia threatens to leave Russian CSTO alliance

Armenia threatens to suspend membership of the Russian-led military alliance CSTO, if it continues to meet certain expectations. The decision is indicative of the deteriorating relationship between the two countries.

Founded in 1992, the CSTO is led by Russia. Like its Western counterpart, the CSTO regards an attack on one member state as an attack on all. On paper, Armenia thus enjoys the protection of military superpower Russia.

In practice, Armenia says it has seen little of that in recent years. The alliance has left Armenia out in the cold, says Prime Minister Nikol Pashinjan.

In September 2023, Azerbaijan’s army invaded the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave. Over 100,000 ethnic Armenians fled the area, in what Armenia described as an “ethnic cleansing”. Russia, which had a peacekeeping force in the area for several years, silently let it happen.

Commenting on the Azeri invasion, German ECR MEP Lars Patrick Berg condemned the operation as “brutal”, urging the EU Commission to take a much firmer stance.

Armenia will leave the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) if the alliance fails to address Armenia‘s collective security concerns, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan now has threatend on March 12. Officially, the capture of Nagorno-Karabakh did not involve an attack on Armenian territory. The international community had always regarded the enclave as Azerbaijani territory since the Armenian conquest of the area in the 1990s.

For Armenia, after the final conquest of Nagorno-Karabakh, it is clear that it need not expect much from Russia in any future attacks.

Copyright: By CSTO, vector graphics: ArBelov –, Public Domain,