CSTO leaders meeting May, 16, 2022

YEREVAN — Russian President Vladimir Putin will travel next week to Armenia to attend a summit of the Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said to RIA Novosti.

The CSTO Collective Security Council will discuss international and regional security issues as well as improvement of the CSTO crisis response system and joint measures for rendering assistance to the Republic of Armenia.

The session will be chaired by Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan. President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev of Kazakhstan, President Sadyr Japarov of Kyrgyzstan, and President Emomali Rahmon of Tajikistan are also expected to participate in the event.

One of the issues that  CSTO will discuss at the November 23 meeting in Yerevan will be improvement of CSTO crisis response system and discussion of joint measures for rendering assistance to Armenia following the invasion of Azerbaijani troops of Armenia’s sovereign territory.

Taking into account that the Republic of Belarus will take over the rotating presidency in the CSTO in 2022-2023, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko will present the country’s priorities to be implemented next year.

The CSTO leaders will sign a set of documents relating to CSTO peacekeeping forces joint formation of radiation, chemical and biological protection and medical support of the CSTO. The CSTO leaders will also review the organization’s budget for 2023.

A joint meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers, the Council of Defense Ministers and the Committee of Secretaries of Security Councils will be held prior to the meeting of CSTO leaders.

Prime Minister  Pashinyan hopes that CSTO leaders will denounce Azerbaijan’s occupation of parts of sovereign Armenian territory.

Addressing the National Assembly on Wednesday, Pashinyan stressed that Yerevan has “no desire to incite a war” between the Collective Security Treaty Organization and Azerbaijan, but warned that a political stance of the bloc that also includes Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan was “very important” to Armenia and its public.

“Armenia’s position is clear – the Azerbaijani troops must withdraw from the occupied territories of Armenia to the positions that they held before May 12, 2021. The international community, in fact, supports our position. We hope that the CSTO will also defend our position,” Pashinyan said.

“The kind of situation is odd because it would seem that the CSTO should have clearly defended out position and we would have to work with other partners, but the situation is quite the opposite.” Pashinyan said.

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