Defense Minister Arshak Karapetian also chided Stanislav Zas personally at the start of their talks in Yerevan.
“We were waiting for your visit in May. It was a fairly tense period for Armenia, but unfortunately your visit didn’t take place,” Karapetian told Zas in remarks publicized by the Armenian Defense Ministry.
Armenia appealed to the CSTO for help after Azerbaijani troops reportedly crossed several sections of the border and advanced a few kilometers into Armenian territory on May 12-14. It asked the alliance of six ex-Soviet states to invoke Article 2 of its founding treaty which requires the CSTO to discuss a collective response to grave security threats facing its member states.
The foreign ministers of Armenia, Russia, and four other CSTO member states discussed the border dispute when they met in Tajikistan later in May. They expressed concern over the tensions but did not issue joint statements in support of Armenia. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian chided the bloc afterwards for not publicly siding with his country.
Zas said last month that the border standoff is not serious enough to require the CSTO’s military intervention. The remarks prompted criticism from Armenian officials, including Armen Grigorian, the then secretary of Pashinian’s Security Council.
Grigorian, who is now Armenia’s acting foreign minister, held a separate meeting with Zas on Monday. Both he and Karapetian said that Armenia will strive to “enhance the organization’s effectiveness” when it assumes the CSTO’s rotating presidency later this year.
The recently appointed defense minister said in that regard that the ex-Soviet alliance’s existing “mechanisms for making decisions and rapidly reacting to crisis situations” do not meet the security needs of its member states.
Tensions at some sections of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border rose further late last month, resulting in one of the most serious truce violations since Russia helped to stop the war in Nagorno-Karabakh last November.
Pashinian proposed on July 29 that Russian border guards be deployed along the entire frontier. It emerged a few days later that Moscow has set up one such post in Armenia’s Tavush province bordering western Azerbaijan.
Karapetian warned on Monday that the Armenian side could use force to drive out Azerbaijani forces that crossed into two other Armenian provinces in May.
Baku maintains that they took up new positions on the Azerbaijani side of the border and did not cross it.