YEREVAN — Armenia made clear on Tuesday that it would veto Azerbaijan’s possible bid to join the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).
A pro-government Azerbaijani parliamentarian, Ali Huseynli, said earlier this month that Baku should “seriously consider” applying for membership in the CSTO, saying that would increase chances of a Nagorno-Karabakh settlement favorable to his country. He also said that the CSTO gives its member states major military and economic benefits.
Speaking at a news briefing Anna Naghdalian, acting press secretary of the Armenian Foreign Ministry, said there are discussions in Azerbaijan about the country’s possible accession to both organizations. In her words, such debates are being hosted by various analytical platforms and there is no official information.
Ms. Naghdalian stated that decisions in these two organizations are taken on the basis of consensus. ‘We have already expressed our position on this issue. If such an issue is considered, Armenia will use its veto power.’ she said. Armenia is a member of both organizations.
Membership in the CSTO and a broader military alliance with Russia has long been a key element of Armenia’s national security strategy. It entitles the country to acquiring Russian weapons at discounted prices or even for free.
Yerevan has thus been able to at least partly offset Azerbaijan’s massive military buildup that began over a decade ago. But Moscow has been Baku’s leading arms supplier in the last several years. The Azerbaijani government has also purchased significant amounts of weapons from another CSTO member state, Belarus.
The current and former Armenian governments have criticized both Russia and Belarus for their arms dealings with Baku.