The Vice Speaker of the Russian Federation Council Konstantin Kosachev said that the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan does not fall within the purview of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).
Kosachev made the statement in an interview with the Russian “Argumenty i Fakty” weekly newspaper, when he was asked whether CSTO and Russia, as the strongest member of the security bloc, could provide “more energetic” support to Armenia in the conflict with Azerbaijan, first of all, military support, or whether “Russia does not have time for Armenia now.”
“The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, in my view, does not fall within the purview of the Organization. Each of the CSTO member states independently determines its posturing toward it,” Kosachev said.
“As for Russia, it is known that we are supporting the settlement in the most sincere way. Furthermore, our efforts are equally demanded by both sides. There is no alternative, the situation can proceed only within this path,” he said.
According to him, taking the position of supporting only one side in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict would mean to further aggravate it.
“It is necessary to adopt a position of a peaceful settlement and support so that the conditions of that settlement are acceptable for all sides,” Kosachev said.
The statement by the top lawmaker comes days before leaders of the CSTO member-states are scheduled to convene at a summit in Yerevan.
The CSTO has been criticized by Armenian government officials for not swiftly responding to Armenia’s appeal in the aftermath of the September 13 large-scale attack by Azerbaijan, whose forces breached Armenia’s territorial integrity and have not pulled out from areas in the Gegharkunik, Syunik and Vayots Dzor provinces.
President Vladimir Putin of Russia is scheduled to attend the CSTO summit in Yerevan and the Kremlin has said that he will meet with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on the margins of the summit, according to the Tass news agency.
“There certainly are plans [for a meeting],” said the Kremlin spokesperson Demitry Peskov, who earlier had confirmed that Putin would attend the summit on Wednesday in Yerevan.