Pashinyan's demarche against the CSTO didn't work
    There is no help, but you hold on!

    ANALYTICS  25 November 2022 - 17:40

    Matanat Nasibova

    CSTO summit in Yerevan, it seems, finally dispelled the illusion of Armenia, which chaired the organization until November 23, on the military support of the alliance in the conflict with Azerbaijan and became another platform of failure for the Armenian prime minister.

    The topic of discussion at the event were the problems of international and regional security, the improvement of the organization's crisis response system, and joint measures to assist Armenia. Although initially, it was clear that the Armenian side will try to use such an opportunity as a visit to Yerevan by leaders of CSTO member-states exclusively in their own interests and to the detriment of Azerbaijan. And after Pashinyan's accusatory speech against the CSTO, all the participants of the summit were convinced of that.

    In short, the Armenian premier expressed serious complaints against the military bloc, because of its "inaction" against the "aggression" of Azerbaijan.

    At the previous CSTO summit in May this year, Pashinyan similarly criticized the organization, accusing it of ignoring Armenia's calls to the member states of the alliance not to sell weapons to Azerbaijan in 2020.

    The fact that the CSTO did not respond to these demands, on the one hand, is a clear indicator of the true perception of Armenia as a non-authoritative participant and a weak ally by all other countries of the bloc. On the other hand, it is an indicator of respect for Azerbaijan as a partner, a regional ally, a country with a positive image, and cooperation with which is a priority for all members of the CSTO. In this context, it is enough to recall what President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said about the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict at the Collective Security Council of the bloc in October of this year. First, he called the two countries friendly but stressed that CSTO members and Azerbaijan cannot be contrasted, and this indicates the special, leading position of our country in the South Caucasus.

    Secondly, Lukashenko's statement that "Azerbaijan is headed today by absolutely our man - Ilham Aliyev," is an expression of the common position of the CSTO and not just a personal assessment of the Belarusian leader. And this is fair because Azerbaijan has proven by its balanced policy that one does not need to be a member of the CSTO or any other military bloc in order to gain the respect and trust of partners. That is, long before the Yerevan summit Pashinyan has already received a resounding slap in the face, without getting even the slightest support from his "colleagues" and without hearing any condemnation of Baku.

    Although such an outcome for the Armenian side was inevitable for two reasons: almost all the CSTO members are in favor of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, which is fundamentally important for Baku. It is no coincidence that two days before the summit in Yerevan, President Aliyev said that "we have more friends in the Collective Security Treaty Organization than Armenia." And this is absolutely true: practically all CSTO countries prefer cooperation with Azerbaijan rather than Armenia. Therefore, it is not surprising that Pashinyan's boring speech about Armenia's deep disappointment in the organization and its allies did not move any of the meeting participants and did not provoke any reaction in support of the Armenian prime minister. Everyone was absolutely indifferent to the Armenian prime minister's reproaches about CSTO involvement in suppressing the January riots in Kazakhstan as well. "The issue was solved overnight," Pashinyan quipped but did not get any words of approval from the allies. On the contrary, instead of any promises of help, Armenia received a concrete message from Russia about the need to sign a peace treaty with Azerbaijan.

    "Russia hopes for the conclusion of a peace treaty between Armenia and Azerbaijan," Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the CSTO summit in Yerevan, noting that issues related to efforts for a comprehensive Armenian-Azerbaijani settlement require further attention. "In this regard, we positively assess the meetings between the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan held in Sochi in the presence of your humble servant. The talks laid a good foundation for future compromises on issues of principle," he continued.

    Thus, Putin reminded Armenia about the binding adherence to the trilateral agreements on ensuring peace and stability in the South Caucasus in 2020 and 2021. And this is undoubtedly a positive sign for Azerbaijan. Because it is Armenia that is avoiding to fulfill all the obligations stipulated in the trilateral document, while Azerbaijan is demonstrating its commitment to concrete steps and actions.

    But that's not all. The Russian leader voiced the importance of the consistent implementation of the agreements on the delimitation of the border and the unblocking of transport communications. In fact, Putin reminded Pashinyan of his obligations to Moscow and Baku, fixed in the Russian negotiating track.

    And this is the main condition of the Kremlin, especially now, against the background of Armenia's constant looking back to the West and the threats of its leadership to withdraw from the CSTO. It is known that in Armenia such appeals are periodically voiced and implanted in the consciousness of the public, the vast majority of which already does not conceal anti-Russian sentiments and supports the idea of integration in the Western direction.

    The protests in Yerevan on the occasion of the Russian president's visit to the country confirmed this. The protesters chanted "Down with Russia and Putin" and demanded to leave the CSTO. I must say, the moment was quite revealing for Russia and its president.

    In the meantime, the Kremlin is well aware that the West and the US are behind the harsh outbursts in Yerevan aimed at ousting Russia from the region, and it is also aware that this is possible now when Russia's influence and rating have declined because of the war in Ukraine.

    Whether the Armenian leadership will have the political will to leave the CSTO is hard to say, especially taking into account Pashinyan's inconsistency. However, for Russia, Pashinyan's refusal to sign the declaration of the Collective Security Council of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) is an unpleasant signal.

    "The draft 'CSTO Collective Security Treaty Organization declaration and on joint assistance measures to the Republic of Armenia' is not sufficiently finalized, and in this form, with all due respect, I am not ready to sign these documents," Pashinyan said during the meeting. What's remarkable is that 14 documents were signed as a result of the Yerevan summit, but none against Azerbaijan. This undoubtedly demonstrates the failure of Armenian diplomacy and overall another fiasco of the Armenian foreign policy strategy.

    And taking into account this fact, even Pashinyan's unexpected demarche, addressed to the closest ally of Russia and the CSTO in general, shows the unenviable future of Armenia, which has been between a rock and a hard place because of "Miatsum passions" for the last thirty years. At the same time, it is naive to believe that Russia will allow Armenia to leave the CSTO and its sphere of influence in general, even if there are serious preconditions for this. And most likely, Pashinyan understands this as well. Accordingly, there is every reason to believe that Pashinyan's desperate outburst was meant more for the internal audience in order to at least temporarily increase his low rating in Armenia and no more than that...


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