Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan commented on Armenia’s refusal of its quota for the post of Deputy Secretary General of the CSTO, speaking today, March 14, at a press conference in Yerevan.
The head of government stated that any mechanism, including the existence of a quota, should become an additional stone in the system of strengthening the security of Armenia. But if this quota does not contribute to security, then the Armenian side “considers it meaningless.”
In this regard, he recounted the summary of his conversation in 2022 with the then Secretary General of the CSTO Stanislav Zas. During his visit to Armenia, the administrative head of the military bloc, in a conversation with the Armenian prime minister, then indicated that the CSTO was concerned about Armenia’s possible withdrawal from the organization.
“I told the Secretary General that such concerns are inappropriate. Another thing is appropriate – concern that the CSTO itself will leave Armenia. And in my opinion, the CSTO, willingly or not, is leaving Armenia, and this worries us. We didn’t hide anything. We have publicly expressed our concerns. We will be happy to take on the post of Deputy Secretary General of the CSTO, but it should not turn out that we are sending the wrong message to our people,” he said.
Pashinyan said that everyone was witness to how long and consistently Armenia has worked and continues to work with its CSTO allies.
“We proposed our principles, which, by the way, are not about Armenia. Is this the principle of whether the CSTO operates in Armenia, does it exist or not? We are ready and willing to raise this issue.” the prime minister added.
According to him, Armenia was reproached for its unwillingness to fight and its inclination to demand the help of the CSTO. However, in November 2021 and September 2022, hostilities took place on the border with Azerbaijan, new claims were made against the government of the republic, they say, it turned to the CSTO for help “under the wrong article” of the agreement on the creation of the organization. Pashinyan called such discussions “non-serious.” In fact, he assured, Armenia appealed under all possible articles, referred to the said agreement and other adopted documents.
On September 13, 2022, the CSTO Collective Security Council decided to send a mission to Armenia led by the Secretary General of the organization to assess the situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and prepare a report to the heads of state after the armed escalation in the region. The task of the mission was to develop proposals for de-escalation. Armenia turned to the CSTO for help under Article 4 of the Organization’s Charter, according to which aggression against one member state of the bloc is considered aggression against all its members, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan explained.
However, following the results of the November CSTO summit in Yerevan, it was not possible to sign two documents – the declaration of the CSTO Collective Security Council and the decision on joint measures to provide assistance to Armenia (after a large-scale escalation on September 13-14 on the border with Azerbaijan) – because of the position of the Armenian side. Both documents were sent for revision. On the same day, November 23, Nikol Pashinyan explained his refusal to sign these documents.
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