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Russia treaty ally clarifies NATO membership stance

Armenia is set to develop its long-standing relations with the US-led military bloc, but will not join, a senior diplomat has said

Deputy Foreign Minister Vahan Kostanyan has said Armenia is “ready to continue” co-operation with NATO, but has not received an invitation to join and its accession is not on the agenda. He responded after calls by an activist supporting the bloc’s expansion ended up in the media spotlight.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Kostanyan was asked to comment on a post on X (formerly Twitter) by Gunther Fehlinger, Chair of European Committee for NATO Enlargement, who earlier in the day wrote: “I call Armenia to join NATO now” while tagging US President Joe Biden and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.

“As for the partnership between Armenia and NATO, it has been going on for many years. We cooperate with NATO in various formats and are ready to continue this process,” the Armenian Deputy FM said.


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He also recalled that the committee’s chair does not speak for the military bloc and “only heads a public organization whose name contains the word ‘NATO,’” a reality recognized by Fehlinger himself, who has also implored several others countries, including Austria, Ireland and Armenia’s neighbors Georgia and Azerbaijan to join the alliance.

Armenia is part of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) which incorporates several post-Soviet states, including Russia, but also maintains partnerships with NATO in several domains. The Caucasian republic is a member of the bloc’s Partnership for Peace and Defense Education Enhancement programs and contributes to the NATO-led operation in Serbia’s breakaway province of Kosovo.

At the same time, Armenia has been locked in a conflict with Azerbaijan over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh for several decades. The self-declared republic broke away from Azerbaijan in the last years of the Soviet era, precipitating a major war which claimed thousands of lives and ended with the signing of an internationally-mediated truce in 1994. Since then, the two nations have been engaged in sporadic fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh.


September 04, 2023 at 10:31PM

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