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US Offers Armenia To Expand Military Cooperation

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US Offers Armenia To Expand Military Cooperation

Is the CSTO done?

The US has offered Armenia to expand military cooperation, according to a statement by US Deputy Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs James O'Brien. “Our first joint exercises took place last year. We expect more,” the diplomat said at a meeting of the two countries' strategic dialogue.

O'Brien added that Washington expects to work with Yerevan in the areas of cybersecurity, border security, food and energy security.

The Deputy Secretary of State also noted that the people of Armenia have confirmed their desire for reform, and the US supports these efforts. In addition, O'Brien spoke about the need for peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan. “If there is lasting peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan, there will be more opportunities, and we are happy to support efforts in this area,” he said.

In September 2022, when tensions began to escalate on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, Armenia turned to its CSTO allies, guided by Article 4 of the organization's charter, according to which aggression against one country of the bloc is considered an attack on all its members. In response, the CSTO limited itself to a statement in which it expressed “concern” about the escalation of the situation and offered “condolences” to Yerevan.

After this, the Secretary of the Security Council of Armenia Armen Grigoryan stated that Yerevan does not rule out leaving the organization. Later, Armenia refused to participate in the CSTO exercises in Kazakhstan.

On September 19, 2023, Azerbaijan took complete control of Nagorno-Karabakh during a one-day operation, while Russian peacekeepers chose not to interfere in what was happening. Within a few days after this, 100 thousand Armenians living there left NK. The unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR), which existed since 1991, officially dissolved itself on January 1, 2024.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, after the capture of NK by Azerbaijani troops, declared the CSTO ineffective and had “serious questions” for Russian peacekeepers. In February, the Armenian prime minister said that the country's membership in the CSTO was effectively “frozen,” and in May, Yerevan suspended funding for the organization.

Against the backdrop of worsening relations with Moscow, Yerevan has intensified contacts with Western countries, which has caused hysteria among the Russian authorities. “Armenia is being turned into an instrument for the implementation of extremely dangerous plans of the collective West,” said official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova.

“Pashinyan is a liar and a scoundrel,” said first deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on CIS Affairs Konstantin Zatulin. The MP accused the Armenian Prime Minister of trying to “direct the anger of the Armenian people towards Russia” and of “failing and losing everything that his predecessors and the entire Armenian people have fought for for many years”. In early June, Armenian Ambassador to Ukraine Vladimir Karapetyan and head of the Yerevan Nor Nork district administration Tigran Ter-Margaryan visited Ukrainian Bucha, where they honored the memory of the city's residents who died during the Russian occupation in 2022, condemned Russian aggression and handed over humanitarian aid from Armenia to the Ukrainian side. “We are proud of the courage of the Ukrainian people, who defend their freedom and independence on the battlefield. The city of Yerevan and the Nor Nork community will always support Bucha and other communities affected by Russian aggression,” Karapetyan said.

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