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30 Sep, 2020 11:20

Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: Armenia isn't looking for peacekeepers from Russian-led CSTO to intervene, says PM Pashinyan

Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: Armenia isn't looking for peacekeepers from Russian-led CSTO to intervene, says PM Pashinyan

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has said his country has the means to defend itself in the escalating conflict with Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh. He indicated Yerevan wasn’t planning to seek assistance from its allies.

At a meeting with members of the Russian press in the Armenian capital on Wednesday, Pashinyan stated that his country does not intend to call for an intervention by peacekeepers from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). In 1994, Armenia was a founder member of the Moscow-led alternative to NATO, which has six members in Eurasia.

Pashinyan said at the press briefing that “there is no such issue on our agenda.” He added: “Appealing to the CSTO is a political issue. It is very difficult to talk about our limits, and when would be the right time to seek assistance. We are working closely with the CSTO, but introducing specific procedures is another question. The Armenian armed forces are able to defend the country.”

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The conflict in the contested region reignited on 27 September, with Azerbaijan and Armenia blaming each other for violating their 1994 ceasefire agreement. Fighting has taken place along the front line, and has reached Nagorno-Karabakh’s de facto capital Stepanakert, where two Azerbaijani drones were shot down on Tuesday.

The deployment of Collective Security Treaty Organization peacekeepers in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was suggested during fighting in 2014. On this occasion, Armenia also decided against involving them.

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The CSTO is a security treaty between six former Soviet states, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan. Azerbaijan was an original member of the organization upon its foundation in 1994, but withdrew in 1999. Kyrgyzstan came close to asking for the deployment of CSTO peacekeepers 2010, during clashes between the country’s ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbek populations, but on this occasion the CSTO did not agree to provide military assistance.

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