Armenia Freezes Cooperation with CSTO Military Alliance

Armenia’s Prime Minister, Nikol Pashinyan, last night on February 22nd, announced that Armenia was freezing cooperation with the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), a military alliance headed by Russia that bears similarities to NATO.

“The Collective Security Treaty has not fulfilled its objectives as far as Armenia is concerned, particularly in 2021 and 2022. And we could not let that happen without taking notice. We have now in practical terms frozen our participation in this treaty. As for what comes next, we shall have to see” -PM Pashinyan

While the freezing of cooperation is not an official withdrawal from the alliance by Armenia, it does open up the greater possibility of such an event taking place, particularly after in recent months Pashinyan has said Armenia’s membership in the alliance is “under review”.

The freezing of cooperation marks a sharp escalation in relations between Armenia and Russia. Although they are historic allies, Armenia has accused Russia and the CSTO of having failed them in the face of Azeri aggression over the last several years.

Russia has a military base within Armenia, which will remain open due to it being related to another treaty that isn’t the CSTO.

Russia’s Presidential Press Secretary, Dmitry Peskov, stated that Armenia hasn’t taken any official actions in the interest of freezing their cooperation with the CSTO. He stated that Russia was reaching out to Armenia in order to seek a clarification on PM Pashinyan’s statements, saying “let’s hope our Armenian friends will explain everything to us”.

Armenia’s dissatisfaction with Russia, and the CSTO in general, have grown particularly strong in recent years after a series of what Armenia claims are failures of the alliance to act on Armenia’s behalf in the face of Azeri aggression.

The 2021 and 2022 incidents which PM Pashinyan mentions saw Azerbaijan seizes large amounts of Armenian internationally recognized territory. The 2022 incidents were particularly violent, and saw several hundred people killed across the two sides. In both events Armenia called upon the CSTO for assistance, and was denied.

Sébastien Gray
Sébastien Gray
Sébastien Gray is a published journalist and historicist with over 5 years experience in writing. His primary focus is on East and West African affairs.

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