A CSTO delegation headed by Zas arrived in Yerevan late on Tuesday following a similar trip to the country by a separate team of senior military officers from the post-Soviet alliance’s Joint Staff. The latter spent four days meeting with Armenian officials and visiting some of the border areas where the fighting erupted on the night from September 12-13.
Armenia appealed to the CSTO for military aid just hours after the outbreak of the two-day hostilities that left at least 280 soldiers from both sides dead. Russia and other CSTO member states effectively declined the request, deciding instead to send the fact-finding missions tasked with studying the situation on the ground and submitting policy recommendations. Armenian officials criticized the bloc’s reluctance to openly side with Yerevan.
The CSTO’s Moscow-based Secretariat underscored that reluctance in a statement on Zas’s meeting with Armen Grigorian, the secretary of Armenia’s Security Council, held on Wednesday. The statement made no explicit mention of the border clashes. It said only that the two men discussed “the situation in the region” and “the CSTO’s possible further measures.”
By contrast, Grigorian spoke of “large-scale aggression” against Armenia and demanded the withdrawal of Azerbaijani troops from Armenian territory seized during the latest fighting and in 2021.
The CSTO military team led by Russian General Anatoly Sidorov presented its findings to Defense Minister Suren Papikian before returning to Moscow on Monday. The Armenian Defense Ministry on Wednesday declined to publicize them.