Armenia’s demarche to the CSTO is a loud slap in the face to the Russian analogue of NATO – UNIAN

Armenia’s demarche to the CSTO is a loud slap in the face to the Russian analogue of NATO – UNIAN
Armenia’s demarche to the CSTO is a loud slap in the face to the Russian analogue of NATO – UNIAN

Alexander Lukashenko said on November 23 that the fate of the CSTO depends on the outcome of the Russian military campaign in Ukraine. In a sense, he is right. But there is one more thing to add.

The CSTO was not originally an effective and influential organization. Russia was unable to make of it a “NATO analogue” in the post-Soviet space due to the fact that:

  • appropriate and adequate resources have not been allocated;
  • no idea was formulated that would be common to all participating countries;
  • Russia created the project for itself and for itself, not really thinking about the interests of others;
  • the strengthening of regional players eroded the influence of the Russian Federation and accelerated the diversification of the foreign policy of the CSTO countries.

Therefore, by the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the CSTO was nothing special, and if it were not for the January “PR campaign” in Kazakhstan, it would have been written off even earlier.

Since the Russian Federation closed the functioning of the organization exclusively on itself (in the traditional style for them), the fate of this structure now really depends on the fate of the Russian Federation and its positions in the region. So, Lukashenka boldly hinted that the CSTO = the Russian Federation, and the Russian Federation = the CSTO, and all other participants do not care what will happen to the organization. And there is logic in this, given the interest of most of these countries to enter into other partnerships and with other projects.

But to complete the picture, we must add one more nuance. The final decline of the CSTO, I believe, did not begin with Ukraine, but with the moment of the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia in 2020.

In the context of the weakening of the Russian Federation due to Ukraine, its discrediting after 2020 and the situational game with Azerbaijan against Armenia, Yerevan’s position is hardening and becoming more pragmatic towards Russia and its non-working security guarantees

The fact that Russia did not protect Armenia within the framework of its allied obligations (not in relation to Karabakh, but later, when Azerbaijan attacked the territory of Armenia itself), demonstrated the true impotence of the CSTO, after which the gradual disintegration of the organization began. And the invasion of the Russian Federation into Ukraine is already the culmination that will bury the entire post-Soviet Russian order, the structural component of which is the CSTO.

Therefore, yesterday’s demarche of Armenia at the CSTO meeting (where Putin personally attended, although he does not always do this) should not be surprising. In the context of the weakening of the Russian Federation because of Ukraine, its discrediting after 2020 and the situational game with Azerbaijan against Armenia, Yerevan’s position is hardening and becoming more pragmatic towards Russia and its non-working security guarantees.

In this context, one of the practical tasks of the new foreign policy of Ukraine in building a post-Russian world is to help Armenia reduce its critical dependence on Russia by providing an opportunity to diversify their external relations, thereby achieving the position of the Russian Federation in the South Caucasus and the CSTO as one of the products already the outgoing post-Soviet balance of power.

At the same time, the election of a representative of Kazakhstan as the new CSTO Secretary General is a clear attempt by Russia to retain control over the organization through such concessions to other participants, which once again confirms the weakening of Russian influence in the post-scoop.

Iliya Kusa, international analyst, expert on international politics and the Middle East, analytical center “Ukrainian Institute of the Future”

The article is in Russian

Tags: Armenias demarche CSTO loud slap face Russian analogue NATO UNIAN

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