3 Nov 2023 16:30

Armenia not discussing withdrawal from CSTO - diplomat

YEREVAN. Nov 3 (Interfax) - Armenia is not discussing withdrawing from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), Deputy Foreign Minister Paruyr Hovhannisyan said.

"There have been no such discussions," Hovhannisyan told journalists on Friday in reply to a corresponding question.

Yerevan is continuing to take part in meetings on the CSTO, CIS, and Eurasian Economic Union platforms, he said.

"We're continuing to take part in relevant meetings. The deputy ministerial or deputy prime ministerial level is quite a high level. We participate at the appropriate level," Hovhannisyan said.

Russia's decision to open a consulate general in Kapan in the Syunik region of Armenia "will promote relations between the countries," he said.

A meeting between Armenian Security Council Secretary Armen Grigoryan and head of the Ukrainian Presidential Office Andrei Yermak in Malta "was not anti-Russian in nature," Hovhannisyan said.

"I wouldn't say that that meeting dealt with Ukraine. This assessment is untrue, considering the meeting's agenda," Hovhannisyan said when asked by a journalist whether the meeting between Grigoryan and Yermak was anti-Russian.

Yerevan has not been invited to a meeting between the Armenian, Azerbaijani, and Russian foreign ministers in Moscow, Hovhannisyan said. "I don't know about such a proposal. This has been voiced purely as an idea thus far. I am unware of any practical steps," he said.

Armenia will sign an agreement with the European Union on the status and privileges of the EU's monitoring mission, he said.

"Politics and security should be mentioned as a new sphere. In this respect, we've already seen some progress in determining the status of the European Union's mission in Armenia. A relevant agreement should be signed soon," he said.

In particular, the parties are negotiating the status of the monitors and their privileges, such as, for example, medical and transport support, he said.

"We do this with respect to all international entities," he said.

The parties are negotiating a possible increase in the number of EU monitors in Armenia "and some possible new functions," he said.

The EU announced the launch of its monitoring mission (EUMA) for two years on February 20. EUMA's functions include conducting routine patrolling and reporting on the situation, contributing to stability in Armenia's border areas, and ensuring an environment conducive to normalization efforts between Armenia and Azerbaijan with the EU's support. The mission comprises about 100 civilian members, including around 50 unarmed observers.