CSTO decides to take steps to help Armenia, but which steps are unknown
How the CSTO will help Armenia
An emergency meeting of the Collective Security Council (created and operating under the auspices of Russia) was held via video-conference on October 28 at the initiative of Armenia. The meeting was attended by the leaders of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan.
The official report following the results of the summit states that “joint steps were discussed to provide assistance to Armenia.” But what these steps might be is unknown.
Contrary to Armenia’s expectations:
● There is no wording “Azerbaijan’s aggression against Armenia on September 13-14” in the final message following the results of the summit.
● There are no reports on how the territorial integrity of Armenia will be restored.
● The events of September 13-14 are presented in the final report as an escalation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, without mentioning which side started hostilities.
What was said at the summit
The meeting was closed, so it is difficult to judge what else was said at the meeting.
But a press release from the Armenian government reports that the report of the CSTO Secretary General, which was heard at the summit, “largely expressed the existing realities, in particular Azerbaijan’s invasion of Armenia and the danger of its repetition, as well as the need for Azerbaijani forces to return to their original positions.”
According to the official website of the Prime Minister of Armenia, he once again stated:
“There are clear expectations that, firstly, the CSTO will give a clear political assessment of what happened and secondly it will adopt a roadmap to restore the territorial integrity of Armenia.”
Putin spoke, but without clear messages
Russian President Vladimir Putin also spoke at the summit. The official Kremlin website has distributed a short video in which Putin states that Russia has always supported Armenia in ensuring security, and the only possible way to peace is to comply with all the provisions of the joint statements of the leaders of the Russian Federation, Armenia and Azerbaijan.
But Putin’s speech also contains no targeted assessments and clear statements about future steps.
“As for the Armenian-Azerbaijani settlement, even today we are doing everything possible to achieve a comprehensive and comprehensive normalization of relations between Baku and Yerevan. It is obvious to everyone that not so long ago both Azerbaijan and Armenia, like Russia, were all part of one state. We have a number of ties with Yerevan and Baku, and it is simply impossible not to take this into account. We are all in a rather difficult position. But, of course, we cannot remain aloof from the problems and contradictions between states close to Russia and are invariably ready to contribute to their peaceful resolution,” Putin said.
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There were comical moments at the summit as well. Journalists and social networks cite President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko’s comment about the “Orthodox people of Armenia” – though the Armenian Apostolic Church professes Gregorianism.
Armenia is outraged by the inaction of the CSTO
Official Yerevan has repeatedly publicly criticized the CSTO for not providing military assistance to Armenia during the escalation on the border with Azerbaijan, which Yerevan and many Western politicians called an invasion.
The Russian Foreign Minister, at a meeting with the Armenian Foreign Minister a few weeks ago, stated that the CSTO was ready to send observers to the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, and for this it was only necessary to organize a meeting of the Collective Security Council, which is currently chaired by Armenia.
The council took place, but so far it is not known whether an agreement has been reached on sending observers and, if so, what mandate this mission may have.
According to the Armenian government, the Foreign Ministers of the CSTO countries were instructed to agree on a draft decision on this issue. A CSTO summit is scheduled for the end of November, which will consider the situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.
How the CSTO will help Armenia