Ahead of a summit of this week’s Collective Security Treaty Organization, which Armenian leaders have said they will not attend, the group’s leadership announced that it will continue “to work on sending an observation mission to Armenia.”
Last week, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan told President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus, who will be hosting the CSTO summit in Minsk, the country’s capital, that he will not attend the gathering. Armenia’s foreign and defense ministers announced Tuesday that they, too, will not attend the summit.
During the same summit that took place in Yerevan last year, Armenia complained that the Russian-led security bloc, which has a mandate to defend its member-states, did not adequately condemn Azerbaijan for breaching Armenia’s borders and territorial integrity when it launched a massive attack on the Syunik province in September, 2022. Thus, Yerevan did not sign on to a statement that would compel the CSTO to send a monitoring mission.
In recent weeks, Pashinyan publicly has said that the CSTO’s failure to identify Azerbaijan as the aggressor signaled the bloc’s disrespect for Armenia’s territorial integrity.
In a statement on Tuesday, the CSTO Secretariat echoed the organization’s Secretary-General Imangali Tasmagambetov who told Lukashenko last with that Yerevan had asked the CSTO to remove the issue of providing military assistance to Armenia from the organization’s agenda.
“Out of the 34 decisions made at the Collective Security Council meeting [in Yerevan] in November last year, only two have not been implemented. One of them was the re-editing of the Council’s decision on assistance to Armenia. Despite the fact that all other allies supported this decision, the Armenian side did not show any interest in that document. Moreover, at the final stage of the work on the document the Armenian side asked for it to be removed from the agenda altogether,” Tasmagambetov said.
Explaining his decision to skip the Minsk summit, Pashinyan told parliament earlier this month that the “fundamental problem” with the CSTO was that this organization has refused “to de-jure determine its area of responsibility in Armenia.”
“In these conditions this could mean that by silently participating [in the summit] we could join the logic that would question Armenia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. We can’t allow ourselves to do such a thing, and by making such decisions [not to attend CSTO gatherings] we give the CSTO and ourselves time to think over further actions,” Pashinyan said.