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Pashinyan Questioned by Opposition MPs Over CSTO Absences

Pashinyan Questioned by Opposition MPs Over CSTO Absences

In a session at the National Assembly today, 24 Members of Parliament assembled for the routine question-and-answer session with the government. The atmosphere was charged with questions from opposition MPs directed at Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and various ministers concerning Armenia's recent decisions regarding participation in international summits and military cooperation.

MP Agnesa Khamoyan, representing the "Hayastan" faction, raised important questions regarding Armenia's involvement in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). She highlighted a series of events where Armenia's top officials opted out of significant CSTO gatherings and initiatives. Khamoyan highlighted Prime Minister Pashinyan's absence from the CSTO session scheduled in Minsk on November 23, as well as his earlier non-attendance at the CIS summit in Bishkek on October 12. Minister of Foreign Affairs Ararat Mirzoyan and other key officials also refrained from participating in these events.

Drawing attention to these deliberate actions, Khamoyan directly questioned the government's motives, suggesting that these decisions might indicate a potential exit strategy from the CSTO. She pressed Pashinyan to clarify the alternative security arrangements that Armenia might pursue if it withdraws from the CSTO.

In response, Prime Minister Pashinyan refuted claims of outright refusal, stating that decisions not to attend were made due to various reasons. Pashinyan emphasized that these actions were not part of a strategic move but were taken as a response to the CSTO's perceived inadequate response to Armenia's security challenges.

Expressing dissatisfaction with the CSTO's handling of Armenia's security concerns, Pashinyan criticized the repeated cycles of raising issues without receiving substantial responses or resolutions. He defended Armenia's choice not to partake in these gatherings, stating that it allows both Armenia and the CSTO to deliberate on future actions.

However, Khamoyan criticized the government's approach as adventurous, highlighting concerns about the nation's security strategy and diplomatic relations with CSTO members, including Russia. Pashinyan hinted at Russia's recent refusal to supply arms to Armenia, prompting the need to explore alternative security partnerships in such circumstances.


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