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Armenia Ratifies Joint Air-Defense With Russia

YEREVAN -- Armenian lawmakers have approved the cabinet's decision to join Russia's air-defense system amid protests by the opposition.

The government's decision was approved on June 30 by 102 lawmakers, while eight members of the parliament voted against it.

Armenia and Russia, along with the former Soviet republics of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, are members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).

Moscow has stepped up military cooperation with its CSTO partners as its relations with the West worsened quickly after it forcibly annexed the Crimea Peninsula from Ukraine in 2014 and subsequently backed separatists in Ukraine's east.

In May, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Washington that Moscow will consider measures to "end threats" from NATO's antimissile system in Europe that are based essentially on U.S. technology.

With reporting by AFP

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