In his opening remarks at the summit held in Yerevan on Wednesday, Pashinian deplored CSTO member states’ reluctance to condemn Baku’s offensive military operations carried out along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border after the 2020 war in Nagorno-Karabakh.
He went on to veto two documents that were due to be adopted by the leaders of Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. He cited a lack of “clear political evaluations” in them.
“Despite the fact that the CSTO summit declaration was not adopted … and a decision regarding the CSTO’s reaction to the September 13 escalation [on the border] was not approved, also because we refused to sign it, I repeat that I regard the discussion as largely positive,” Pashinian told a weekly meeting of his cabinet.
“I also consider as positive negotiations held with Russia in a bilateral format and hope that the understandings reached will be implemented as soon as possible,” he said in an apparent reference to his late-night meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin held right after the summit.
One of the two documents blocked by Pashinian called for what the CSTO’s outgoing Secretary General Stanislav Zas described as a set of “measures to assist Armenia in this difficult situation.” Zas did not disclose those measures.
Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said in Yerevan that Armenia proposed two unspecified amendments that were not accepted by other CSTO member states.
Speaking at the previous CSTO summit held via video link late last month, Lukashenko bluntly opposed any CSTO intervention in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. A senior Russian lawmaker likewise claimed earlier this week that that the conflict is “not within the competence” of the CSTO.
Pashinian again charged during Wednesday’s summit that the failure to push back against or even condemn the Azerbaijani “military aggression” against his country runs counter to the bloc’s charter and undermines its credibility.
The Armenian premier expressed hope on Thursday that both documents vetoed by him will be amended and approved by all member states.
“We still hope that our partners will come to their senses and realize that Armenia’s border is also the CSTO’s border,” said Alen Simonian, the Armenian parliament speaker allied to Pashinian.
“The Armenian authorities have not come to terms and will not come to terms with this inactivity,” Simonian told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service.
He made clear at the same time that Yerevan still has no plans to leave the organization.