Armenia to keep working towards strengthening of CSTO – Defense Minister

“The CSTO, which is an important component of Armenia’s security, has a number of gaps,” Armenian Defense Minister Vigen Sargsyan told a press conference today.

“The two major problems include the lack mechanisms of soft power (an important security component in today’s security system) and inconsistency in positions  between CSTO member states on foreign policy issues, especially when it comes to voting in third organizations,” Vigen Sargsyan said.

He noted, however, that it’s not a problem of CSTO only. “We see that event in well-established military-political blocs with longer history, i.e. NATO, member states often have contradicting positions. Vivid examples include the periodic violations of each other’s airspace by Greece and Turkey and discussions of the issue within international organizations,” the Defense Minister said.

“We have always said we value the statements of the CSTO as a structure and its stance on the Karabakh issue, including the statement adopted within the framework of the Yerevan summit and the statements by former Secretary General Nikolay Bordyuzha, whose response has been very adequate and consistent with his position, especially at times of trouble and escalation,” Vigen Sargsyan said.

According to him, the appointment of Armenia’s representative to the post of the CSTO Secretary General might bring about certain difficulties, because any statement by an Armenian Secretary General will be seen differently from the ones made by Russia’s representative.

Minister Sargsyan stressed that Yuri Khachaturov will not serve as Armenia’s representative to the structure. “He’s an international official, which means that before making any statement he will have to agree it with all member states.”

“We’ll continue to work towards strengthening of the CSTO, which is a structure capable of solving many important issues, including in the fieldss of military education, establishment of rapid response forces, capacity development of peacekeeping forces, anti-terror activity. We’ll do our best for our chairmanship of eth CSTO to be maximally efficient,” the Defense Minister stated.

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