Russian MFA on Armenia's possible withdrawal from the CSTO
On March 16, the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, addressed the journalist's questions about the possibility of Armenia leaving the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).
Zakharova noted that on September 13 and October 28, 2022, extraordinary sessions of the CSTO Collective Security Council were held, the then Secretary General of the organization Stanislav Zas and the mission led by Chief of the CSTO Joint Staff Colonel-General Anatoly Sidorov visited Armenia.
The Russian diplomat reminded that a plan to deploy a CSTO observation mission in Armenia was prepared, and the development of the relevant decision was practically completed at the meeting of the organization's statutory bodies held in Yerevan.
"At the same time, due to certain demands of Armenian partners, which were problematic for other CSTO members, it was not possible to take this decision," said Zakharova.
At the beginning of January, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced that Armenia refused to host the "Indestructible Brotherhood-2023" military exercises of the collective rapid reaction forces of the CSTO in its territory. And on March 10, it became known that Armenia, according to the relevant procedure, applied to the CSTO to give up its quota of the CSTO Deputy Secretary General.
Ararat Mirzoyan and Sergey Lavrov will meet in Moscow
On March 20, the meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Armenia Ararat Mirzoyan and Sergey Lavrov will take place in Moscow.
During the negotiations, the ministers will discuss steps aimed at further development of bilateral cooperation, and strengthening of cooperation within the framework of the CIS, EAEU, and CSTO.
The main topics of discussion will be regional issues, including the settlement of the situation in the Lachin Corridor and Nagorno-Karabakh in general, as well as the implementation of tripartite agreements between Russia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. We expect that the upcoming meeting will help improve the quality of the dialogue with Yerevan, as well as work towards strengthening security and stability in the South Caucasus.
CSTO Secretary General visits Armenia
On March 16, RA Defense Minister Suren Papikyan received the delegation led by CSTO General Secretary Imangali Tasmagambetov, who arrived in Armenia on a working visit. This is reported by the RA Ministry of Defense.
Opinions were exchanged on a number of international and regional security issues, including the situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and the military-political situation around Armenia.
In particular, speaking about the border situation, Suren Papikyan presented the long-standing problems and the expectations of the RA Ministry of Defense regarding the implementation of CSTO collective defense mechanisms.
CSTO General Secretary was on a working visit to Jermuk. He visited the places that suffered as a result of the military operations unleashed by Azerbaijan in September 2022.
Nikol Pashinyan instructed RA Foreign Minister to start official negotiations with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees
RA Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan considers the fact that the international mechanism defined by point 7 of the tripartite statement of November 9, 2020, has not been activated yet.
During the government session, he reminded that in point 7 it is stated that internally displaced persons and refugees return to the NK territory and adjacent regions under the supervision of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
"This means that international mechanisms for the return of Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh Hadrut, Shushi, Martuni and Martakert regions, Shahumyan, Getashen, Lachin and adjacent and other regions of Nagorno-Karabakh should be launched," said the Prime Minister.
Pashinyan noted that he instructed the Foreign Minister to start official negotiations on this topic with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
"Representatives of ethnically cleansed Armenians from Baku, Shirvan, Sumgait, Kirovabad, Khanlar, Shamkhor, Nakhichevan and other regions of Azerbaijan are also appealing to state bodies, complaining that we do not raise the issue of their rights to return to their homes accompanied by international peacekeeping forces.
The problem is that point 7 of the statement of November 9 refers only to refugees and internally displaced persons of Nagorno-Karabakh and the regions immediately adjacent to it, but this, of course, does not prevent those ethnically cleaned Armenians from Baku, Shirvan, Sumgait, Kirovabad, Khanlar, Shamkhor, Nakhichevan and other regions of Azerbaijan to organize themselves, return and defer their rights in international courts," Pashinyan sais.
According to The Economist, Armenia is Russia's second closest ally
The Economist published an article titled "Putin’s pals", in which it presented a list of Russia’s allies. Among the 12 countries included, Belarus is the first place, and Armenia is the second. It is noted that the rating was made on the basis of 11 factors. The countries with the highest scores are mostly related to Russia in the fields of politics, history, and geography (Belarus, Armenia, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan). Referring to the CSTO, the magazine notes that some CSTO members try to stay away from the war.
“Armenia has opted out of this year's CSTO exercises and now appears to be trying to insure itself when it comes to political patronage by inviting an EU mission to monitor the border with Azerbaijan."