The Armenian government appealed to the alliance for help hours after the outbreak of the deadly hostilities on the night from Monday to Tuesday. The presidents of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan discussed the request at an emergency video summit chaired by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian late on Tuesday.
They stopped short of openly siding with Armenia and decided instead to send a fact-finding mission to the South Caucasus state.
Armen Grigorian, the secretary of Armenia’s Security Council, clarified that Yerevan sought the CSTO’s “military and military-political assistance” that would help it drive Azerbaijani forces out of its territory.
“That was our demand to the CSTO,” Grigorian told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service. “Up until now it has not been fulfilled. So in this regard, [the CSTO response] cannot satisfy us.”
Asked whether Yerevan asked Russia and the other CSTO member states to send troops to Armenia, he said: “The international community has many instruments, from military-political to diplomatic and economic ones.”
The official also would not be drawn on growing domestic calls for Armenia to leave the Russian-led bloc. “It’s the CSTO, not Armenia, that should think about that,” he said.
Moscow scrambled to end the deadly fighting, with various Russian officials holding urgent phone talks with their Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts. The United States and the European Union also engaged in a flurry of diplomatic activity aimed at halting the hostilities that left at least 135 Armenian and 77 Azerbaijani soldiers dead.
Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan said on Friday that most key foreign powers have voiced support for Armenia’s territory and held Azerbaijani responsible for the worst fighting in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone since the 2020 war.
“But I must also admit that we had a bit higher expectations from some countries or a country, and it’s no secret that in some cases those expectations were not quite met,” Mirzoyan told a weekly cabinet meeting in Yerevan. He did not elaborate.