Established in 1992 with the participation of six former Soviet Union republics—Armenia, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan—the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) aimed to ensure the territorial integrity and autonomy of its member countries through collective defense.

In 2022, when Azerbaijan invaded Armenia’s sovereign territory, Yerevan turned to the CSTO for assistance. However, the organization, predominantly led by Russia, declined Armenia’s request, citing the unresolved border issues between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Two months later, at the November CSTO summit in Yerevan, Prime Minister Pashinyan called for a clear position on the attacks by Azerbaijan, but the attending presidents refused to address the matter. This marked the beginning of a deterioration in Armenia-CSTO relations, moving dangerously close to a complete break.

In recent months, Armenia’s refusal to participate in various CSTO meetings escalated, with Prime Minister Pashinyan informing Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko of his inability to attend this week’s CSTO summit in Minsk. Yerevan also insisted that the issue of assistance to Armenia be removed from the agenda. Despite this, the Organization’s Secretariat announced its intention to continue discussing the deployment of observers to Armenia.

Since last year’s September War, significant developments unfolded. The European observation mission arrived in Armenia, the army diversified its weaponry beyond Russian sources, and Artsakh witnessed depopulation with the inaction and tacit approval of Russian peacekeepers. Europe and the United States now emphasize Armenia’s territorial and border integrity as a red line, cautioning Azerbaijan against reckless actions, while Russia remains silent.

Armenia-Russia relations are currently in crisis. Moscow accuses the West of meddling in their friendship, yet the Kremlin leadership is the one who bears responsibility for the turn of events. Maria Zakharova, the spokeswoman for Russia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, recently announced that per the tripartite declaration signed after the 44-day war. Russian border guards are the only ones who are allowed to control the road or so-called “Zangezur Corridor” connecting Nakhitchevan to Azerbaijan. However, over the past few years both Azerbaijan and Russia violated all aspects of that agreement thus rendering it defunct.

Belarus’s president once claimed “Nikol has nowhere to go,” suggesting Armenia will eventually join the union state with Russia and Belarus The time has shown that Armenia has chosen a different path, aligning with countries who share its democratic values, getting further away from autocratic regimes. Consequently, the CSTO’s and Russia’s actions not only are too little too late but also lack meaningful significance.

1 comment
  1. Russia is no ally of Armenia, Russia is simply protecting its vast interests in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, all Muslim nations all openly supporting their Muslim ally Azerbaijan.
    Belarus being the mouth piece of Russia openly called Aliyev ” One of our own”
    CSTO simply said is the Collective Dictatorships of former Soviet states, openly supporting Azerbaijan, another dictatorship.
    Its about time we simply started to look after own affairs at whatever cost.

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