YEREVAN — Parliament speaker Alen Simonyan on Friday dismissed a senior Russian official’s warning that Armenia will cause irreparable damage to its relations with Russia if it moves closer to Western powers and shares “sensitive” information with them.

In an interview with the Russian TASS news agency published on Wednesday, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin suggested that the Armenian government is trying to deepen security ties with the West at the expense of the South Caucasus nation’s traditional alliance with Russia.

“Rash decisions that will give Westerners full access to national databases and information sensitive to the country’s security … could make it objectively impossible [for Armenia] to return to joint efforts to build a common defense space with Russia and other CSTO allies,” he warned.

Simonyan countered that Armenia is not seeking to join another military alliance or host Western troops on its territory.

“What information could we convey [to the West?]” he told journalists. “It’s absurd. Enough with such rhetoric about us, enough with threatening us directly and indirectly.”

Simonyan also brushed aside Galuzin’s claim that there are no “viable alternatives” to Armenia’s membership in the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).

“Stop threatening us, stop talking about the CSTO. When they talk about the CSTO, let them say where the CSTO border is and what their obligations are, both to the CSTO partners and to the parties of the Russian-Armenian agreements. Stop (making) such statements concerning our sovereign territory,’ Simonyan said when speaking to reporters.

Responding to a question about the dissolution of the OSCE Minsk Group proposed by Aliyev, Simonyan said that it can only be discussed after Armenia and Azerbaijan sign a peace treaty.

Aliyev said on Thursday that Yerevan and Baku should address the OSCE to initiate the dissolution of the Minsk Group, created in 1992 to encourage a peaceful, negotiated resolution of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh

Simonyan also said that Armenia puts its efforts towards the peace treaty. “The dissolution of the OSCE Minsk Group can only be discussed once the treaty is signed. If Azerbaijan continues to accuse Armenia of having any territorial claims or demands, there is no point in a peace treaty,” he stressed.

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