November 22, 2022, Yerevan
The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum’s Armenian National Platform (hereinafter, EaP CSF ANP) expresses its deep concern related to the Collective Security Treaty Organization (hereinafter, CSTO) upcoming meeting on November 23, 2022, in Yerevan.
Recent geopolitics and regional developments have shown that CSTO actions do not respond to the security challenges of the members of that structure, but instead often serve the internal political agendas of some countries and serve the purpose of reproducing political regimes. Thus, In January, the CSTO, upon Kazakhstan’s request sent its “peacekeeping” forces to that country to carry out functions that by their nature were not related to peacekeeping, meanwhile, when on May 12, 2021, and then on September 12-14, 2022, Armenia became the target of the aggression of Azerbaijan’s dictatorial regime, and around 150 square kilometers of its territories were occupied, and hundreds of soldiers and civilians were killed, wounded, captured, tortured and shot, which was documented and spread and circulated by the Azerbaijani army soldiers, no CSTO country condemned either Azerbaijan’s aggression against Armenia, the occupation of its territories, or the war crimes committed against Armenian citizens.
At the same time, Armenia’s western partners: the European Union and co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group – US and France – stood out with active steps aimed at protecting the sovereignty and security of Armenia. They, among other actions, also condemned the above-mentioned encroachments against Armenia. The aggression against Armenia was stopped with the mediation of the USA, and European Union civilian observers were deployed on the eastern border of Armenia to restrain the further aggressive ambitions of the Aliyev regime.
We also highly appreciate the attitude of those progressive representatives of the Azerbaijani society, who condemned the aggression against Armenia and the unleashing of a new war, which inspires hope for the prospect of peaceful coexistence between the two peoples.
Whereas during the session of the UN Security Council convened on September 15, the representative of CSTO member Russia was the only one who actually defended and justified Azerbaijan’s aggression against CSTO member Armenia and the occupation of its territories, calling it “difficulties of border delimitation”. Only after the consistent demands of the Armenian authorities, with a delay of 2 months, the CSTO recognized the occupation of the Armenian territories. At the same time when during the last online session of the CSTO, the Prime Minister of Armenia proposed to draw up a road map regarding the withdrawal of Azerbaijani troops from the territory of Armenia, the President of Belarus Lukashenko, who is taking over the chairmanship of the CSTO, made a clear public statement, announced that no such road map can be drawn up, because “Ilham Aliyev is our man”. All this gives reason and leads to thinking that Azerbaijan’s aggression against Armenia was planned together with the Kremlin and was directed against not only Armenia’s territorial integrity but also its independence and sovereignty.
CSTO members Russia and Belarus are the main suppliers of offensive weapons to Azerbaijan, which has carried out aggression against Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh for the third time since 1991. Meanwhile, Russia still refuses to deliver the weapons Armenia bought from it in 2020 under the CSTO regulations. To this should be added the fact that a number of CSTO member countries congratulated Azerbaijan “on the occasion of the victory” in 2020 after the latter’s aggression and ethnic cleansing against the people of Nagorno-Karabakh.
In addition, CSTO member Russia has unleashed an unprovoked and aggressive war against Ukraine, occupying a large part of its territories, killing tens of thousands of its citizens, making about 10 million people refugees or internally displaced persons, committing many other crimes and causing sufferings to the people of Ukraine, which condemned by the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, its Armenian National Platform, and many other international organizations of repute. In this regard, we also consider it unacceptable that the state TV stations of the Russian Federation spread xenophobia and war propaganda through the public multiplex in the territory of the Republic of Armenia, which is prohibited by the RA Constitution and laws.
Based on the above, as well as having the conviction that Armenia’s place is not in the club of authoritarian regimes, but in the European family of democratic countries, the national platform of the EaP CSF Armenia demands from the Armenian Government:
- After conducting the necessary preparatory work, withdraw Armenia from the CSTO.
- To prohibit the broadcasting of the state television stations of the Russian Federation in the territory of the Republic of Armenia, primarily through the public multiplex.
- To enhance negotiations with Western partners in order to deepen military and security cooperation and ensure the security of our country.
- To reopen and enhance negotiations with the European Union in order to join the Association Agreement with the EU and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area.