Not only Russia but also other states making up the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) deserve credit for a quick end to last April’s heavy fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh, the Russian-led alliance’s secretary general claimed on Wednesday.
Nikolay Bordyuzha said that the presidents of all CSTO member states used their “political weight” to try to de-escalate the Karabakh conflict. “In my view, it was a CSTO effort and it worked,” he told journalists in Yerevan.
“I think that the CSTO’s role should be looked at through this prism, rather than in terms of dispatch of troops or use of military force,” said Bordyuzha. “Our main trump card is the political influence on one or another phenomena happening place in our countries.”
Armenia has repeatedly accused its nominal ex-Soviet allies of undermining the CSTO with their refusal to openly back it in the Karabakh conflict. Speaking at a CSTO summit in Moscow in December, President Serzh Sarkisian said they should “learn” from NATO member states’ unanimous support for Turkey shown after the downing of a Russian warplane near the Syrian-Turkish border.
Armenian discontent with the bloc’s stance increased following the April 2 outbreak of large-scale hostilities in Karabakh. Neither Russia nor other CSTO member states publicly blamed Baku for the escalation. One of them, Kazakhstan, on the contrary forced the cancellation of a planned Eurasian Economic Union summit in Yerevan in a show of support for Azerbaijan.
The hostilities along “the line of contact” were stopped on April 5 following a Russia-brokered agreement reached by Armenia’s and Azerbaijan’s top army generals in Moscow. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev helped to further ease tensions on the frontlines when he visited Yerevan and Baku in the following days.
Bordyuzha insisted that Medvedev acted “within the framework of the CSTO.”