By K. KHODANIAN

About two weeks ago, the Prime Minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, announced in Parliament that at least two Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) member states participated in preparations for the 44-day war. On June 12, addressing the issue again from the same venue, Pashinyan declared he would never visit Belarus as long as Alexander Lukashenko is its president. He further declared that no official representative of the Republic of Armenia would visit Belarus.

Recently, Lukashenko publicly discussed Azerbaijan’s victory and his discussions with the President of Azerbaijan to that end. A day after Pashinyan’s harsh stance, the prestigious American political magazine Politico revealed that it had obtained secret documents showing that during the escalation of the war, Belarus provided weapons and military aid to Azerbaijan from 2018-2022. Referring to the diplomatic and military documents leaked by the Belarusian side, Politico reported that Belarus’s aid to Azerbaijan included the modernization of old artillery and the supply of new equipment. The report concluded that Belarus could not have taken this step without Russia’s knowledge and approval.

Pashinyan was likely aware of the Politico documents, which is why he announced that he would no longer participate in CSTO meetings and sit at the same table with those who conspired against Armenia before, during, and after the 44-day war. It was not surprising that Aliyev once claimed that Azerbaijan, which is not a CSTO member, has more friends within the organization than Armenia.

After all this, Russian political circles continue to warn that leaving the CSTO would not benefit Armenia’s interests. In this crucial period of recent Armenian history, the so-called allies who betrayed Armenia claim to understand its interests better and issue frequent warnings.

All this raises the question: why did Russia betray its ally? If the goal was to overthrow Pashinyan’s democratic government, it failed because the people of Armenia were not ready to return to the pre-2018 era. If the goal was to weaken Armenia so that it would be forced to join the Russia-Belarus Union state, the Kremlin could not achieve that either, because the people of Armenia are determined to maintain their independence and sovereignty.

Today, the Armenian people are increasingly distancing themselves from Russia, for which Moscow is solely to blame. It is with Moscow’s complicity that Artsakh was depopulated and Armenia’s borders are subjected to daily encroachments.

The reasons for the defeat in the 44-day war are many and varied, and still not fully revealed. Politico’s publication sheds light on the sad role played by CSTO member states.

While advancing the peace agenda, Armenia is now engaged in acquiring new and modern weapons on a large scale. The time when Armenia was not “allowed” to buy weapons from countries other than Russia has passed. Today, by obtaining various types of weapons from different sources, Armenia will strengthen its defense capabilities and will no longer need unfaithful allies like the CSTO.

As the Politico article concludes, someone with friends like Putin needs no enemies.

“MASSIS”

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