'CSTO countries to try to avoid interference in conflict around Karabakh'


'CSTO countries to try to avoid interference in conflict around Karabakh'

Эксперты МГИМО: Никитина Юлия Александровна, к.полит.н.

CSTO Secretary General Nikolai Bordyuzha said recently that in case of military intervention against Armenia, the member-states of the organization will come to its aid. Do you think that the possible restart of war for Karabakh would be considered as ‘targeting Armenia’ if the military actions limit with the territory recognized by UN as Azerbaijani?

CSTO is the organization of collective defense from external attack. But mutual assistance will be carried out only with the request of one of the member-states in case of attack against its territory. However, in case of the conflict around Nagorno Karabakh, the matter will hardly be about the offensive against Armenia. The military actions will likely limit to the territory of the so-called unrecognized republic of Nagorno Karabakh. Thus, just formally in terms of the legal documents of the CSTO, this organization won’t be able to use the right for collective self-defense beyond the area of its responsibility.

There is an opinion that through the CSTO Secretary General, Moscow, which officially recognizes Nagorno Karabakh as belonging to Azerbaijan, sends a specific message to Baku to warn it against the liberation of the occupied lands. What do you think about it?

The Secretary General voices the opinion of the Secretariat or the organization, in general, rather than the opinion of Moscow, which is why such a message will likely be voiced by Russian officials rather than the CSTO representative.

Going back to Bordyuzha’s statement about the readiness of the member-states to come to Armenia’s aid, I would like to ask whether mutual understanding between the CSTO member-states not only on the indicated issues but on many others is great?

In general, the member-states will try to avoid the interference of the organization in case of a potential conflict around Nagorno Karabakh since only Russia among the CSTO members is really ready to provide military support to Armenia. Belarus or Central Asian countries will hardly take a direct part in possible military operation. This situation with mutual support is not unique: in the issue of resisting potential threats from the territory of Afghanistan, Armenia and Belarus are less interested in sending their militaries to any operations in Central Asian region.

Are the decisions in CSTO adopted only through consensus? Can the CSTO take any military action against anyone if this decision is supported not by all organization members?

CSTO moves to the decision-making system in which a decision can be taken by a limited number of participants but other members cannot be against this decision, that is a specific right for veto. Thus, if any of the states is against the military operation, it cannot be carried out.

Azerbaijan left CSTO soon after joining. Do you think Azerbaijan’s membership in this organization will again bring the pluses to the country or is this opportunity only hypothetic, recalling Putin’s words about Russia’s possible accession in NATO?

Revival of the process of regional cooperation on the post-Soviet area, primarily in economic sphere is currently observed. Regional integration is not aimed at preserving Soviet legacy but covers those who are really ready to make an equal contribution to cooperation. So if we don’t consider all regional organizations as mainly pro-Russian and post-Soviet but as unions of equal independent states it will make individual countries more willing to cooperate. Potential Azerbaijani accession to CSTO could make this organization more balanced and give it an impetus for further development. In return, Azerbaijan will get access to the decision-making process in the regional security sphere.

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Источник: News. Az
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