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 Monday, February 12 2024 12:30
Naira Badalian

Armenia not discussing NATO membership - premier  

Armenia not discussing NATO membership - premier  

ArmInfo. Armenia is not discussing NATO membership, Armenia's Premier Nikol Pashinyan stated  in an interview with The Telegraph. 

The Telegraph: Roland Oliphant - You recently, I think just this  week, talked about the fact that Armenia can no longer rely on Russia  as its main military and defense partner. I think it's pretty clear  why. Russia did not fulfill its obligations under CSTO. What does  this mean in practice? Is Armenia seeking future NATO membership?

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan - We have not said that we deny and  reject cooperation with Russia in general and in the security sector  in particular. What we have said is that we are going to diversify  our relations in the security sector. What does this mean? Does this  mean that we are going to break our security relationship with  Russia? No, it doesn't mean that, but it means that in the field of  security, we are preparing and ready, and we are discussing and  working to establish relations, for example, with the European Union,  which is already a reality by and large, with France, which is  already a reality by and large, with the United States, which is  already by and large a reality, with the Islamic Republic of Iran,  which is already by and large a reality, with India, which is already  by and large a reality, and with many other countries. Our security  relations with the United States, or France, or India, or the  European Union are not naturally directed against Russia. This is  simply the consequence of the reality that the security relationships  we used to have in the past do not address our security needs.

As to NATO, this is not an item on our agenda. In other words, we  have not and are not discussing NATO membership. We do have  partnership relations with NATO, and there is nothing new there. We  used to have an Individual Partnership Action Plan, now that program  is being reformatted into a certain partnership format that doesn't  imply membership. I will also tell you something that we are at least  a de jure member of the CSTO today, and I am not sure if there are  discussions on that topic in general, or rather in Armenia, as to how  well the alliance-based strategy corresponds to Armenia's interests,  in general, in the long term.

The Telegraph: Roland Oliphant - You say that you do not turn your  back on Russia. But that is not realistic in today's world. The  countries that you listed, the close ties with France, the USA, the  EU, they are in a massive geopolitical confrontation with Russia. You  really have to make a choice, don't you?

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan - Ukraine war had just started, I  believe I gave an interview to the Czech CNN and I said that we are  not Russia's ally in the matter of Ukraine, and that is the reality.  But I also want to say that our security cooperation with the United  States or France or our other security partners is not directed  against our other security partner. Another thing is that our  partners may have concerns about how cooperation with others could  affect their security systems. We are trying to manage this issue  being as transparent as possible.  

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