The Collective Security Treaty Organization, whose leaders convened a summit in Yerevan on Wednesday, failed to provide a decisive condemnation to Azerbaijan for its forces launching a large-scale attack on Armenia’s sovereign territory.
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan told the leaders of the CSTO member-states that he would not sign a draft declaration by the group about providing assistance to Armenia due to lack of a political assessment regarding the situation.
Pashinyan said that Armenia expects the CSTO to accelerate the necessary political and diplomatic work with Azerbaijan to ensure the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Azerbaijani troops from the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia to their original positions as of May 11, 2021.
“Such a position is important not only for restoring the territorial integrity of the Republic of Armenia, but also for deterring Azerbaijan from further aggressive actions against our country. The fact that the risk of a new aggression by Azerbaijan against the territorial integrity of Armenia remains was reported by CSTO Secretary General Stanislav Zas at an extraordinary meeting of the Collective Security Council on October 28 this year,” explained Pashinyan
“Under these conditions, the lack of a clear political assessment of the situation and the failure to make the above decision may not only signal the CSTO’s refusal carry out its obligations toward allies, but may also be interpreted by Azerbaijan as a green light from the CSTO for further aggression against Armenia,” Pashinyan said.
“And this contradicts not only the letter, but also the spirit and meaning of the fundamental documents of the CSTO. Therefore, based on this, at the moment I believe that the draft ‘Declarations of the CSTO CSC and on joint measures to provide assistance to the Republic of Armenia’ submitted for signing is not sufficiently finalized, and with all due respect, I am not ready to sign these documents in this form,” Pashinyan declared.
The prime minister said that during the past two years, CSTO member Armenia has been subjected to aggression by Azerbaijan at least three times.
“It is regrettable that Armenia’s membership in the CSTO did not restrain Azerbaijan from resorting to aggressive actions, and furthermore, basically until today, we were unable to make a decision regarding the CSTO’s response to Azerbaijan’s aggression against Armenia,” added Pashinyan.
“These realities are greatly harming the CSTO’s reputation both inside and outside of Armenia, and I consider this to be the main failure of Armenia’s presidency in the CSTO. I can say the same about the escalation of the situation on the border of our allies Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan,” added Pashinyan, who took the opportunity to point out the group’s swift response earlier this year to send military forces to Kazakhstan, at the request of that country’s leader, when anti-government protests turned violent.
“In this case we resolved the issue overnight, which helped Kazakhstan avoid domestic chaos,” Pashinyan said.
CSTO’s Secretary General Stanislav Zas, during a meeting of the foreign ministers of the group’s member states on Tuesday, said the organization was well-equipped to resolve the situation on the border between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, if the two countries consider it necessary.
“In the Central Asia region we attach a special importance to the further settlement of the situation on the Tajik-Kyrgyz border,” Zas said. “We believe that the CSTO has necessary resources and experience to help our two countries to achieve that goal.”
President Vladimir Putin of Russia, who participated in the CSTO summit told the participants of the need for a comprehensive resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
“I agree with my colleagues who spoke earlier about this issue and the efforts to achieve a comprehensive settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. Of course, these are sensitive issues that require our attention,” Putin said, according to the RIA Novosti newspaper.
Putin added that the agreements reached between the leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia in Sochi at the end of October “created a good basis for future compromises on fundamental issues.”
“Only by consistently fulfilling these (previously reached) agreements on border delimitation, unblocking transport communications and humanitarian issues, we can achieve a sustainable settlement of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan. We hope that this will ultimately lead to the conclusion of a peace treaty between Yerevan and Baku,” Putin added.
At the conclusion of the summit, Pashinyan as the chair of the meeting said Imangali Tasmagambetov from Kazakhstan will become the CSTO’s new Secretary-General, replacing the outgoing Zas, whose three-year term has expired.