YEREVAN – Secretary General of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Stanislav Zas met with Defense Minister Arshak Karapetyan of Armenia in Yerevan on August 9. They discussed the accomplishments of military cooperation and further future possibilities, as well as in particular the occupation of territory of the Republic of Armenia by Azerbaijan starting on May 12.
Karapetyan presented the situation in a dry manner, practically in the form of an ultimatum, which was unexpected for everyone. Karapetyan declared: “We were awaiting your visit back in the month of May. That was a particularly tense period of time for Armenia, but, unfortunately, your visit did not occur. Today, an enduring serious situation has been created on our borders. Azerbaijani armed forces in May invaded Armenian territory in two directions. This immensely upsets us. We are proponents of peace. We, in any circumstance, do not wish tension on our borders. At the same time, we are not prepared to acquiesce with activities which can result in the violation of the state borders of Armenia. We will decisively defend our territories. We, of course, desire to solve this matter in a peaceful way, demonstrating our love of peace. At the same time, our patience is not inexhaustible, and in the case of the absence of a peaceful solution to the situation created at our borders, we reserve the right to solve the situation through the use of force.”
These words of Karapetyan cannot remain without a response. The Russians know well that anti-Russian disposition increases daily in Armenia. After the 2020 war, when Russia did not officially support the Armenian side, such sentiment began to spread. It greatly increased after May 12, when CSTO did not physically aid the Republic of Armenia, and moreover, treated the situation as a small local nuisance. In Armenia, the CSTO’s position is understood to represent the official viewpoint of Russia.
Karapetyan expressed his regret that the mechanisms for reaching decisions in the CSTO structure and responding to crisis situations do not correspond to the current need for rapid responses.
It is interesting to note that only hours after the meeting, a Russian IL-76 military cargo plane was seen in the skies of Yerevan, and it is speculated that its contents were unloaded in Yerevan.