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UPDATED: 19:04, April 24, 2006
Armenia not to join NATO, EU: president
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Armenia is not going to join NATO and the European Union (EU), Armenian President Robert Kocharyan said Monday in an interview with local newspaper Golos Armenii.

"The membership in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the high level of military-technical cooperation with Russia solve the task of ensuring the country's security in a sufficient degree," Kocharyan said.

Therefore, Armenia will not join NATO, the Armehian president said. The member states of the CSTO include Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

Kocharyan said that the "whole law base of the Armenian-Russian relations in the military-technical sphere has been ratified by the republic's parliament."

"Within the framework of the individual partnership program, Armenia is actively broadening the cooperation with the North Atlantic alliance as a key European security organization. We hope for fruitful cooperation, especially in the reform of Armenia's armed forces, and in the peacekeeping activity," Kocharyan said.

The president said, "at present, Armenia is preparing for closer cooperation with the European Union within the framework of the New Neighborhood Policy, but we do not formulate the task of joining the European Union."

"Euro-Atlantic ambitions of Armenia are weighed, realistic, positively seen by European structures, and do not create problems in the relations with Russia," he said.

"We equally articulate our stance in Moscow, Brussels and Washington," the president said.

Source: Xinhua

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