Moscow has called on Armenia to return to discussions in the Collective Security Treaty Organization
Armenia should stop publicly criticizing Moscow and should instead focus on resolving pressing issues in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the defense alliance of which both countries are members, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksandr Pankin has said in an interview with RIA Novosti.
His comments come after Russian-Armenian relations soured significantly following the resolution of the decades-long standoff between Yerevan and Azerbaijan over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
The predominantly Armenian enclave officially returned to Baku’s control after a large-scale Azerbaijani military operation in September. Since then, Armenian authorities have accused Russia and the CSTO of failing to fulfill their obligations to come to Yerevan’s aid. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has refused to participate in several CSTO and CIS summits, while Yerevan has begun pursuing closer military ties with the US, including by holding joint military drills.
In an interview with RIA Novosti published on Thursday, Pankin expressed regret that Russia’s “Armenian allies have really distanced themselves” from the six-member CSTO. Resolving the organization’s issues is in the interest of all its participants, he added.
Moscow believes that Yerevan is keen on a mutually respectful dialogue with Russia within the organization, according to Pankin, who insisted that this would ensure peace and stability in Eurasia – including in the South Caucasus – as well as security for Armenia.
Russia has dismissed Yerevan’s allegations that it failed to help Armenia amid the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. President Vladimir Putin has noted that Moscow’s military could only have observed a ceasefire in the region, and suggested that Armenia itself gave Azerbaijan free rein after it officially recognized Baku’s sovereignty over the enclave.
While Russia has insisted that Armenia has a right to choose how to build relations with foreign countries, Moscow has nevertheless accused Yerevan of “extremely hostile” moves, such as holding drills with the US and recognizing the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which has issued an arrest warrant for top Russian officials, including President Putin.
February 09, 2024 at 07:44PM