Armenia refused to conduct CSTO exercises called “Unbreakable Brotherhood 2023” on its territory
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated that it would be inappropriate to conduct the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) exercises in the country in 2023. He is quoted by Interfax.
“The Minister of Defense of Armenia has already informed his colleagues from the CSTO in writing that in this situation, we do not consider it reasonable to conduct CSTO exercises in Armenia. At least this year, these exercises will not be held in Armenia,” Pashinyan said.
Earlier, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced the joint exercises of the CSTO peacekeeping contingents “Unbreakable Brotherhood 2023”, which were to be held in Armenia.
On January 8, as Interfax wrote, Armenian opposition activists staged a rally near the Russian military base in Gyumri. The protesters announced the need for Armenia to withdraw from the CSTO, demanding that Russian peacekeepers unblock the Lachin corridor, the only road linking Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia.
Armenia, blaming Azerbaijan, announced the blocking of the Lachin corridor in mid-December. On December 12, several hundred citizens who called themselves eco-activists were reported to have cut the road. The BBC Russian Service noted that the action was similar to a political one, and among others, officials and employees of state-owned companies of Azerbaijan participated in it. Baku claimed that the Russian peacekeeping contingent blocked the road, but the Russian Foreign Ministry called these accusations “unfounded.”