CSTO refuses to record its area of responsibility in Armenia, says Prime Minister Pashinyan


YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 15, ARMENPRESS. The CSTO has failed to properly react to Armenia’s security challenges in accordance with its de-jure mandatory obligations for several times, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has said.

During question time in parliament, the PM was asked why Armenia is not participating in the CSTO and CIS meetings and whether this means that Armenia is preparing to withdraw from the CSTO.

PM Pashinyan said that Armenia is not opting out of the meetings, but has rather decided not to attend the specific meetings in question due to various reasons.

“Regarding the question whether I am preparing the grounds for something, I am not preparing grounds for anything, because that ground both exists and doesn’t exist, regardless of our preparations. You also asked what security system we worked or ensured our country’s security with. Our most important note regarding the processes taking place in the CSTO and our positions is that unfortunately the CSTO, with its de-jure mandatory obligations, did not give a proper reaction to Armenia’s security challenges, and this has happened repeatedly for several times. With all due respect to all our colleague, we simply note that it is incomprehensible also for our society why every time we go and repeat the same things, say the same things, and not get any reaction, and simply come back. And then the next time we go again and return the same way, without getting a reaction,” Pashinyan said in response to a question from MP Agnessa Khamoyan. 

The Prime Minister said that the “fundamental problem” is that the CSTO is refusing to de-jure record its area of responsibility in Armenia. “This could mean that in these conditions, by silently participating, we could join the logic that would question Armenia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. We can’t allow ourselves such a thing also because we are making such decisions in order to give the CSTO and ourselves time to think over further actions,” Pashinyan said.

He said that Armenia did not reject the CSTO’s deployment of a mission, but it wanted the CSTO to clearly record Armenia’s territorial integrity before doing so.

“We were shown the Republic of Armenia, and we showed the Republic of Armenia [to them] and said that this must be recorded, something the CSTO did not do. We cannot accept such a mission because it would turn out that by doing so we would legitimize the blurred perception of the Republic of Armenia and thus also legitimize Azerbaijan’s invasions in such conditions,” the PM said.

Pashinyan said Armenia is diversifying its security relations because its security partners aren’t selling weapons, also because of objective reasons. “We are looking for other security partners. And we look for and find other security partners, we try to sign agreements, acquire some armaments. This is our policy. And we are not planning to announce a change in our policy in strategic terms as long as we haven’t decided to leave the CSTO,” Pashinyan said.