CSTO statement specific message to Armenia - ex Defense Minister

12:04 • 04.12.17



Armenia’s intensifying pressure against Azerbaijan in its status as a Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) member state contributes to the development of that country’s military - the key guarantee against a renewed war and the guarantee of victory in case that war erupts, according to a former minister of defense.


In an interview with Tert.am, Lieutenant-General Vagharshak Harutyunyan commented upon the CSTO's recent statement on Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh), admitting at the time that the thousands of Armenian officers securing the country's military efficiency today get their free training in Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, also member states of the Organization. On the other hand, Harutyunyan noted that Armenia purchases weaponry from Russia for internal prices which are relatively cheaper compared to the prices on the international market.


“Armenia itself made the proposal for such a statement, which the CSTO accepted. That fact itself testifies to the CSTO’s support to the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process. The CSTO statement outlines the principles (non-use of force or threat of force, exercises of the right of peoples’ to self-determination) stemming from Armenia's interests. We are aware that Azerbaijan rejects those principles, attaching importance only to territorial integrity, while the CSTO acknowledges the rights of peoples to self-determination and non-use of force and threat of force,” he said. Harutyunyan also highlighted the CSTO’s support to the Vienna and St Petersburg agreements reached after the 2016 April war.

“Armenia raised those [demands for conducting ceasefire monitoring] as a precondition for renewing the talks. The OSCE Minsk Group, and now also the CSTO, gave their approval to that, which is really important for Armenia.

“The political objectives we pursued are now resolved. What remains unresolved is Azerbaijan’s goal as they want to return Karabakh through military operations or repeated violations of the ceasefire in an attempt to provoke an atmosphere of fear in Armenia and Karabakh to influence the politico-military leadership’s position. All they are seeking is to create a breeding ground for concessions. So the deployment of those [ceasefire monitoring] mechanisms will be a serious blow to Azerbaijan’s leadership. This is why they abandoned the idea of abiding by the proposal,” he added.

Asked to comment on any differences between the recently adopted statement and the clause on Krabakh enshrined in the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement, Harutuynyan said he sees an equally positive position on the Minsk Group format by both the CSTO and the European Union.

“It is in the interests of Armenia and Karabakh, because Azerbaijan has no trust in the Minsk Group co-chairs. They insist that Russia is Armenia’s ally, France, as a Christian country, extends support to Armenia, and the United States has a big Armenian community which also supports the country. This is why Azerbaijan wishes to reshape the format to shift it to the UN platform, which is unrealistic. If they don't think those three power centers are able to resolve the issue, which organization can then be effective? So this is why I positively evaluate the clause on Karabakh in the EU-Armenia agreement,” he added.

Armenian News - Tert.am





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