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Armenia remains CSTO ally despite its absence from Minsk meeting — bloc’s chief

It is highlighted that the reasons for the Armenian delegation’s absence were technical.

 Armenia remains an ally of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and it is pointless to make hasty conclusions from its absence at the post-Soviet security bloc’s Minsk meeting, CSTO Secretary General Imangali Tasmagambetov told TASS on Monday. "To my mind, it is pointless to make any categorical conclusions from this situation [Armenia’s absence from the CSTO’s recent Minsk meeting]. Armenia was and remains our ally. I think that this says it all," the organization’s chief said.                                      "As far as the [CSTO] Secretariat knows, the reasons for the Armenian delegation’s absence were technical," the organization’s chief went on to say.                                            "In any case, this is a decision by an independent and sovereign state that cannot be influenced by any other state or organization. The CSTO respects the decision by the Republic of Armenia as the organization’s full-fledged member," he added.  The CSTO’s summit in Minsk on November 23 took place amid a deterioration in the relations between the post-Soviet security bloc and Armenia. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan earlier accused the CSTO of failing to render assistance to the South Caucasus republic during its hostilities with Azerbaijan in May 2021 and September 2022. In this context, Yerevan requested the CSTO to remove the issue of assistance to the country from the agenda. Pashinyan personally informed Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko that he had no intention to go to Minsk.                                                              Before the CSTO’s summit, the Armenian foreign and defense ministers also did not attend the security bloc’s events. However, Yerevan has said that it has no intention to withdraw from the organization.

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