By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Armenia’s Parliamentary Commission on Foreign Relations is preparing to adopt amendments to the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Charter, which provide for observer status in the organization for countries wishing to deepen relations with the CSTO.
The organization’s plan on establishing this status was known for several months. During the Moscow-Yerevan-Minsk-Nur-Sultan-Bishkek video conference on July 2019, the acting CSTO Secretary General Valery Semerikov announced that there were no plans to expand the CSTO, and instead, partnership institutions and observers would soon appear in the organization.
Since that time, Armenia lives in fear whether Azerbaijan would be accepted as an observer or not. However, Azerbaijan did not even mention such an intention. For many years, Baku has been pursuing a policy of non-alignment with one or another power integration structure.
However, Armenia’s anxiety is still there. In connection with the approval of the observer’s position in the CSTO, intra-Armenian debates on this topic have resumed. Armenian analysts and politicians are trying to understand why Moscow initiated talks on the observer status in the CSTO.
Armenians are more at war with their own fears and complexes than with the "threat" of Baku’s entry into the CSTO. Armenian media are actively discussing the measures that Yerevan should take to prevent Baku from joining the organization.
Recently, Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan tried to reassure the Armenian public by stating that Armenia can block the status of CSTO observer or partner of any state unfriendly to it. However, Kocharyan’s statementcould not reassure the frightened Armenian deputies. MP from Bright Armenia faction Arman Babajanyan replied that Azerbaijan would have stronger positions in the CSTO than Armenia. Indeed, CSTO member countries, excluding Armenia, are friends and partners of Azerbaijan.
The influence of Azerbaijan clearly manifested itself during the period of Armenia’s admission to Eurasian structures, when member countries prevented attempts to legalize the Nagorno-Karabakh separatists within the framework of the CSTO and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).
On May 29, 2014, in Astana, at a meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in Kazakhstan, ex-president Nursultan Nazarbayev noted that Armenia could join the EAEU within its own borders, that is, without Nagorno-Karabakh.
After Armenia confirmed the rejection of Nagorno-Karabakh, Nazarbayev noted that there were no more obstacles to Armenia’s entry into the EAEU.
Interestingly, Azerbaijan maintains excellent relations with the CSTO countries without entering into a single organization with them, but Armenia, being a full member of CSTO, still does not manage to achieve this. This directly points to the wrong foreign policy led by the Armenian authorities.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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