By Aza Babayan
MOSCOW (RFE/RL) — Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan again criticized the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) on Monday, May 16, for not openly siding with Armenia in its border dispute with Azerbaijan.
“As you know, one year ago Azerbaijani troops invaded Armenia’s sovereign territory,” Pashinyan told a CSTO summit in Moscow. “Armenia appealed to the CSTO to activate its mechanisms for crisis situations. Unfortunately, we cannot say that the organization reacted in a way that was expected by Armenia. “
Armenia appealed to the CSTO for help shortly after Azerbaijani troops reportedly crossed several sections of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and advanced a few kilometers into Armenian territory in May 2021. It asked the alliance of six ex-Soviet states to invoke Article 2 of its founding treaty which requires them to discuss a collective response to grave security threats facing one of them.
Russia and other CSTO member states expressed concern over the border tensions but did not issue joint statements in support of Armenia. The bloc’s secretary general, Stanislav Zas, said last July that the Armenian-Azerbaijani dispute is not serious enough to warrant a CSTO military intervention.
In an apparent jibe at Russia, Pashinyan also criticized his country’s unnamed ex-Soviet allies for selling weapons to Azerbaijan, which he said were used against “Armenia and the Armenian people” during the 2020 war in Nagorno-Karabakh.