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Armenia refuses to finance Russian-led CSTO security alliance

by Chris York May 8, 2024 8:06 PM 2 min read
L-R: Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan pose for a group photo during the welcoming ceremony of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) on Nov. 23, 2022, in Yerevan, Armenia. Illustrative purposes only. (Contributor/Getty Images)
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Armenia will not partake in the financing of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), Yerevan announced on May 8.

This comes as the latest in a series of steps the country has taken to distance itself from the Russian-led security alliance.

Speaking to Factor.am, the country's Foreign Ministry spokesperson confirmed Armenia would not contribute to the CSTO's 2024 budget, which was adopted in November of last year.

The CSTO, which was established in 2002, includes Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. Russia is by far the most powerful member of the alliance.

Since coming to power in a 2018 revolution, the government of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has steadily deepened the country's ties with the West while drawing condemnation from Russia. Pashinyan has sought to foster security ties with other countries, such as France, the U.S., and India.

In recent months, Armenia has taken an increasingly belligerent stance towards Moscow and, in March, threatened to leave if the military alliance fails to address Armenia's collective security concerns.

The threat came amid a growing rift between Yerevan and Moscow, which was exacerbated when Russia and its "peacekeepers" in Nagorno-Karabakh did not prevent Azerbaijan's armed seizure of the region.

Kremlin confirms Russian ‘peacekeepers’ withdrawing from Nagorno-Karabakh
Russia has begun withdrawing its “peacekeeping” contingent from Nagorno-Karabakh, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov confirmed on April 17, according to Russian independent media outlet Meduza.

According to Article 4 of the CSTO Treaty, if a member state experiences aggression, then all member states must come to its aid – similarly to NATO's Article 5 principles.

The CSTO did not intervene during Azerbaijan's offensive in September 2023.

Pashinyan said in February that Armenia had "frozen" its participation in the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) because it failed to uphold its objectives regarding Armenia.

In recent months, Armenia has further sought to distance itself from Russia, repeatedly accusing Moscow of being an unreliable partner.

In March, Armenia's Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan revealed that the country is considering applying for membership in the European Union, aiming to strengthen ties with the West. Yerevan also asked Russian "peacekeepers" who have been stationed at Yerevan's international airport since the country's independence to leave.

In January 2024, Armenia joined the International Criminal Court, becoming one of 124 countries obliged to arrest Russian President Vladimir Putin if he steps foot in national territory.

The Kremlin decried the move as an "unfriendly step" and "the wrong decision."

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