And about. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan instructed the government to prepare an appeal to the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a military-political bloc that theoretically should protect its member countries from external encroachments. The reason for this decision was the actions of the Azerbaijani military in the Black Lake area on the border with the Syunik region. The enemy, as they say in Yerevan, has penetrated about three kilometers into the territory of Armenia and took up positions there. Baku said that “the movement of Azerbaijani troops is taking place at positions belonging to Azerbaijan.”
CSTO is calling for help
The Armenian authorities decided to use a military-political lever that had never been used before. We are talking about an appeal to the CSTO, a military-political bloc in which Armenia is, along with Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
The corresponding decision of the acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced on Thursday evening – after the aggravation of the situation in Syunik region. According to him, the Azerbaijani military is deliberately provoking a new conflict.
“The current situation is fully consistent with the second paragraph of Article 2 of the Collective Security Treaty, according to which, in the event of a threat to the security, stability, territorial integrity and sovereignty of one or several participating States, or a threat to international peace and security, the participating States immediately put into operation the mechanism of joint consultations with the aim of coordinating their positions, they develop and take measures to provide assistance to such states, “he added.” On this basis, I instruct the acting Foreign and Defense Ministers Ara Ayvazyan and Vagharshak Harutyunyan, as well as the Secretary of the Security Council Armen Grigoryan to take measures to start consultations, provided for in Article 2 of the Collective Security Treaty to coordinate positions and take measures to eliminate the threat that has arisen. ” And about. The prime minister also drew attention to the fact that “on the day of the start of provocations, Azerbaijan announced large-scale exercises with the participation of 15,000 servicemen on May 16.”
It should be reminded that six months after the Second Karabakh War, the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict found its continuation in the Syunik region of Armenia. It has not yet reached armed clashes there, but the situation is extremely tense. As they say in Yerevan, on the morning of May 12, under the pretext of “clarifying the borders”, a group of Azerbaijani military entered the Armenian territory, going about 3.5 km inland and gaining a foothold in the Black Lake region. Similar attempts were made at two other sections of the border. Two-day negotiations between the Armenian and Azerbaijani military with the participation of the Russian side were not crowned with success. According to the Armenian government, currently about 250 servicemen of the Azerbaijani armed forces are still within the state borders of the country – in some parts of the Syunik and Gegharkunik regions.
Meanwhile, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said: “The movement of Azerbaijani troops is taking place at positions belonging to Azerbaijan.” “In accordance with the trilateral statement (of the leaders of the Russian Federation, Armenia and Azerbaijan – Kommersant) dated November 9, 2020, in connection with the improvement of weather conditions in the Lachin and Kelbajar regions bordering with Armenia, the forces of Azerbaijani border troops are being deployed. The forces are deployed in positions belonging to our country. This process takes place as usual and is systematic, ”the ministry said. “Since May 12, the leadership of the State Border Service of Azerbaijan has been dispatched to the site, negotiations are underway with the border guards of the other side and steps are being taken to normalize the situation,” the message also says.
Towards the elections
Let us remind you that talks about the possible participation of the CSTO in the process of stabilizing the situation arose during all the exacerbations of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. However, de facto, the organization has never taken active action. This was due to the fact that the hostilities practically did not affect the internationally recognized territory of Armenia, but were conducted exclusively in Nagorno-Karabakh, which, according to international law, belongs to Azerbaijan. When clashes began directly on the border of Armenia and Azerbaijan, as in July 2020, the CSTO limited itself to consultations. After four days, the shooting ceased, and any possible solutions became irrelevant.
During the Second Karabakh War, which completely redrawn the map of the region, some Azerbaijani missiles hit the territory of Armenia – in particular, the city of Vardenis, bordering Karabakh. Theoretically, this could become the basis for contacting the CSTO, but Nikol Pashinyan chose not to do this – apparently, realizing the futility of such a step. Nevertheless, the Armenian opposition considers such a decision a missed opportunity and uses it as another reason to criticize the authorities.
Acting Minister of Defense of Armenia Vagharshak Harutyunyan and acting Foreign Ministers Ara Ayvazyan have already held telephone talks with CSTO Secretary General Stanislav Zas. But no unexpected statements were made after them. “The CSTO is closely following the development of the situation in the border regions of the Syunik region of Armenia. As the situation develops, if necessary, actions will be taken under the provisions of the Collective Security Treaty and the CSTO Charter, ”- the only thing that was reported in the bloc.
True, in Armenia the idea of contacting the CSTO is considered quite promising. “Without a doubt, after the intervention of the CSTO, the problem around the Black Lake will be resolved in favor of Armenia,” Secretary of the Security Council Armen Grigoryan said on the air of the First Channel of Armenia. “This is not a local, but a global provocation. The enemy understands that we will restore the army in the shortest possible time with the help of Russia, therefore he is taking such steps. “
Director of the Yerevan Institute of the Caucasus, Alexander Iskandaryan, in an interview with Kommersant, explained that Armenia’s appeal to the CSTO should be taken as an appeal to Russia itself. “On a serious note, no one expects the Kazakhs and Kyrgyz to send troops here. Russia is expected to take action, ”the expert said.
It should be reminded that early parliamentary elections will be held in Armenia on June 20, and any decisions of the authorities and the opposition should also be considered in this context. Nikol Pashinyan’s appeal to the CSTO may look like a correction of previous mistakes and a demonstration of decisiveness that will please the voter. However, if such a step does not help in any way to solve the problem, then the effect may be the opposite.