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    Armenia's Cooperation With NATO 'Not Against Strategic Alliance With Russia'

    © AFP 2019 / KAREN MINASYAN
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    Armenia's defense minister told Sputnik that Yerevan's cooperation with NATO does not threaten its relations with Russia.

    YEREVAN (Sputnik) — Armenia's cooperation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is not directed against its strategic alliance with Russia, Armenian Defense Minister Vigen Sargsyan told Sputnik.

    "Our relations with NATO were always build completely openly for our allied countries and partners. We have never made a secret of this, and this cooperation could never and never will be directed against the interests of our strategic alliance with Russia," Sargsyan said.

    Armenia takes part in the NATO Resolute Support mission to train, advise and assist Afghan security forces launched on January 1, 2015 as a follow-up on the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) combat mission, which completed at the end of 2014. Armenia also participated in ISAF mission sending up to 131 soldiers to Afghanistan.

    Armenia will continue arms procurement dialogue with Russia, Sargsyan told Sputnik.

    "Contracts have been implemented in advance on a range of [orders], which is also pleasing. We will continue dialogue with Russia about the possibility of acquiring weapons on the Russian market," Sargsyan said.

    He expressed "deep respect and a desire to increasingly develop this cooperation," lauding Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) membership allowing Yerevan to buy weapons at the same price as the Russian Armed Forces.

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    Tags:
    Collective Security Treaty Organization, NATO, Vigen Sargsyan, Armenia, Russia
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