YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has criticized the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) for its refusal to support Armenia when it faced “Azerbaijan’s aggression.”
Speaking at a CSTO summit in Yerevan on November 23, Pashinyan said it was “depressing that Armenia’s membership in the CSTO has failed to contain Azerbaijani aggression.” He said this had been “hugely damaging to the CSTO’s image both in our country and abroad.”
Armenia asked for military help in September after deadly clashes broke out between the two Caucasus neighbors, but the CSTO responded only by sending its secretary-general to the conflict zone and offering to set up a working group to analyze the situation.
Six countries — Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Russia — comprise the CSTO, which was established in October 2002.
Pashinyan said his country had supported CSTO member Kazakhstan immediately in early January when Kazakh President Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev askeCSTO troops to enter his country following unprecedented antigovernment protests.
“Armenia is ending its chairmanship of the CSTO. Although it is an anniversary year [for the CSTO], for Armenia it was not an anniversary year at all. In the last two years, a CSTO member-state has been attacked by Azerbaijan at least three times, and actually, till now, we have not received any reaction from the CSTO regarding Azerbaijan’s aggression, which is a big blow to the CSTO’s image,” Pashinyan said.