The Secretary General of the Collective Security Treaty Organization Imangali Tasmagambetov arrived in Armenia on Thursday for a two-day visit.
He visited Jermuk on Thursday to assess the impact of Azerbaijan’s aggression against Armenia in September, the city’s Mayor Vahagn Arsenyan said.
The CSTO Secretary general was briefed on the damage caused to the city’s and the region’s economy, as well as the many social and psychological problems caused by the aggression.
It was noted that at the time of the military operations, there were many tourists in the spas of Jermuk, and that not only military positions, but also civil infrastructures were targeted by the Azerbaijani aggression.
In a Facebook post, Arsenyan expressed gratitude to the CSTO leader “for keeping the military operations against the peaceful city and their consequences in the spotlight, as well as for his compassionate attitude.”
Tasmagambetov also met with Armenia’s Defense Minister Suren Papikyan. A discussion about a number of international and regional security issues, including the situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and the military-political situation around Armenia was held, according to Armenia’s defense ministry.
Speaking about the border situation, Papikyan presented the long-standing problems regarding the implementation of CSTO collective defense mechanisms and the Defense Ministry’s expectations.
Relations between Armenia and the Russia-led security bloc have been tense, since Yerevan believes that it was snubbed by the organization when it was asked for assistance during Azerbaijan’s invasion of Armenia in September.
Compounding the tensions was the refusal by CSTO member-states to properly condemn Azerbaijan and hold it accountable for violating Armenia’s sovereignty.
During a press briefing on Thursday, Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said in response to a reporter’s question that on September 13 and October 28, 2022, extraordinary sessions of the CSTO Collective Security Council were held, following which the Secretary General of the organization at the time, Stanislav Zas, and a mission led by Chief of the CSTO Joint Staff Colonel-General Anatoly Sidorov visited Armenia.
Zakharova said that a plan to deploy a CSTO observation mission in Armenia was prepared, and “the development of the relevant decision was practically completed at the meeting of the organization’s statutory bodies held in Yerevan.”
“At the same time, due to certain demands by our Armenian partners, which were problematic for other CSTO members, it was not possible to take this decision,” said Zakharova.