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Ex-Ambassador To Russian Federation: Kazakhstan May Leave CSTO After Armenia

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Ex-Ambassador To Russian Federation: Kazakhstan May Leave CSTO After Armenia

The Kremlin finds itself in a serious situation.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said that “Armenia’s membership in the CSTO is frozen.” What do these words actually mean? Charter97.org website spoke about this with one of the leaders of the democratic movement in Armenia in the 1990s, former deputy of the Supreme Council of the republic and ex-ambassador of Armenia to Russia Stepan Grigoryan:

— First of all, it is worth noting that for the first time Nikol Pashinyan said that our participation in the work of the CSTO is frozen. Before that, he complained and said that the Collective Security Treaty Organization did not fulfill its obligations, it did not help us when Azerbaijan attacked Armenia.

Pashinyan said all this, but now there has been a qualitative transition. Pashinyan announced that Armenia is freezing its participation in the work of the CSTO. This transition is very important: it’s one thing when I say that Armenia has frozen its participation as an expert, and another thing is when the Prime Minister says this.

The second point that is worth paying attention to is that formally there is no such status. Formally, you are either a member of the CSTO, or you leave the CSTO and suspend your membership. Therefore, the authorities must now also clarify what they mean by the concept of “freezing.”

By the concept of “freezing” I mean a simple thing — our authorities just will not participate in any events held by the CSTO. This is how I understand this situation, but many took this freezing as a way out of the organization. No, this is not yet a way out of the CSTO, but I believe that our authorities should do this.

— Yesterday Lukashenka commented on Pashinyan’s statements. He stated that the CSTO will not collapse without Armenia. Are they already preparing for Yerevan’s exit from the Organization in this bloc?

— Yes, they are already preparing for the fact that Armenia may withdraw. They, of course, understand the seriousness of the situation. But at the same time with these words, Lukashenka said something else; he recommended that Armenia “not rush”, “not take emotional steps.” That is, the CSTO does not seem to want to lose Armenia, but at the same time does not want to fulfill its obligations to protect our country. Besides, he threatens us.

In the case of Russia, they directly threaten us that this step will have consequences for Armenia. In my opinion, even if it is pretended that Armenia’s exit is not a loss for them, it is only a game. In fact, this is not so; for the CSTO this is a serious loss, because after Armenia leaves, Kazakhstan can begin the procedure for leaving the organization.

— Another interesting news. Armenian media write that Volodymyr Zelensky may fly to Yerevan. How likely is this and what would such a move mean?

— These rumors have a basis; there were definitely such plans at the official level. This is an important point that there have already been contacts regarding this visit. It is still difficult to say whether it will take place or not, but this is a very serious message from Armenia associated with a change in the vector of Armenian politics.

You yourself understand that Zelensky’s visit to Armenia is a qualitative transition in our foreign policy, because Zelensky now personifies the fight against the Putin regime.

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