“We celebrated the 30th anniversary of the signing of the collective security treaty and the 20th anniversary of the creation of the CSTO. Despite the anniversaries, our mood, unfortunately, is by no means jubilee. Over the past two years, the CSTO member country Armenia has been subjected to aggression at least three times by Azerbaijan,” Pashinyan said.
The prime minister said that he was “depressed that Armenia’s membership in the CSTO did not deter Azerbaijan”, as well as the fact that the CSTO did not react in any way to the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
“These facts cause great damage to the image of the CSTO both inside our country and abroad, and I regard this as the main failure of Armenia’s chairmanship in the CSTO. The same can be said about the facts of escalation on the border between our allies – Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan,” – said the prime minister.
The publication clarifies that Pashinyan also refused to sign the final statement, saying that it needs to be finalized.
In turn, Alexander Lukashenko, who considers himself the president of Belarus, during the meeting of the council talked about the possible collapse of the bloc.
“Recently in the media [пишут, что] life, the fate of the CSTO depend on the “operation” of the Russian Federation in Ukraine. If Russia wins, the CSTO will live; if, God forbid, it does not win, the CSTO will not exist. And in our countries, too, many hotheads began to discuss this problem. I feel that we have come to a common opinion that if Russia collapses, then under these rubble is our place,” BelTA quotes Lukashenka.
At the same time, he assured that the CSTO “is not going to leave the military-political arena,” but the organization needs unity.
The conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh has been going on since 1991 with varying degrees of intensity.
In November 2020, after the biggest escalation in a decade, the representatives of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia signed a declaration to end the war as a mediator. According to the agreements, 1,960 Russian peacekeepers were stationed along the line of contact in Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan received the right to occupy three regions – Kalbajar, Aghdam and Lachin. Armenia was obliged to withdraw its troops from there.
In August-September, Azerbaijan carried out a new military operation, regaining control over most of the self-proclaimed republic. Yerevan requested assistance within the framework of the CSTO, but the bloc stated that the organization did not intend to send a military contingent to the border of Armenia and Azerbaijan. Due to dissatisfaction with the CSTO’s reaction to the aggravation of the conflict, Yerevan promised to “draw conclusions.”
In September, a protest rally was held in Yerevan, the participants of which demanded Armenia’s withdrawal from the CSTO.