November 30, 2018 - 12:31 AMT
Armenia: Pashinyan says issue of new CSTO chief is "non-essential"

The issue of electing a new Secretary General for the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) is not the most essential one, acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan told a campaign rally in Sevan on Thursday, November 29.

“The issue of the CSTO Secretary General is a very small and non-essential one. Questions discussed in that context are more important. We will constantly defend the interests of Armenia and Artsakh,” Pashinyan said.

He said Armenia has not damaged relations with any of the CSTO member states but has instead noted "the bad and discredited situation it has inherited in this establishment and not only.”

“Unlike previous authorities we are not going to remain silent and put up with the situation," the acting PM told supporters.

"We prioritize the specification of our commitments in the CSTO before our allies and theirs before us. We raise these issues for developing relations with our partners. If we do not address the existing issues, the situation will deteriorate paving the way for more and more issues."

The CSTO Collective Security Council relieved Armenia’s Yuri Khachaturov of his duties as the organization’s secretary general in late October.

On July 26, Armenia’s Special Investigative Service accused Khachaturov of overthrowing the constitutional order in 2008 and requested his arrest. Khachaturov, who was the Commander of the Armenian Armed Forces’ Yerevan Garrison back in 2008, pleaded not guilty. On July 28, the Yerevan City Court of General Jurisdiction released him on his own recognizance and a bail of about $10,000.