Armenia has refused to host military drills by the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), a Russian-led alliance of post-Soviet countries
Russia had announced earlier this year that Armenia would host the annual exercises of the group which comprises six states – Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
“The Armenian defence minister has informed the CSTO Joint Staff that in the current situation, we consider it unreasonable to hold CSTO exercises on the territory of Armenia.
At least, such exercises will not take place in Armenia this year,” Interfax news agency reported Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan as saying.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, when asked about the cancelled military drill, said Moscow would ask Yerevan to clarify its position.
“In any case, Armenia is our close ally, and we will continue our dialogue, including the most complex issues,” he told reporters.
Pashinyan’s move followed his refusal in 2022 to sign a concluding document from a meeting of the leaders of CSTO member nations in Yerevan, Armenia’s capital.