YEREVAN (Combined Sources)—Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian slammed Azerbaijan today for exacerbating tension on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and along the line of contact in Nagorno-Karabakh, claiming that Baku aims to destabilize the region.
While speaking at a session of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, President Sarkisian said the heads of the CSTO member states met to discuss a set of sensitive issues, saying the meeting ran, “in [a] traditionally frank and confidential atmosphere,” News-Armenia reports quoting RIA Novosti.
“I informed the heads of the CSTO member states on the situation in the South Caucasus, placing the focus on [the] significant threat of rising tension along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and the Azerbaijan-Karabakh line of contact. I would like to add only that the attempts of the Azerbaijani side to aggravate the situation in the absence of an adequate response from the international community is fraught with destabilization of the situation across the whole region,” Sarkisian said.
The CSTO session is expected to adopt a statement that will reflect member states’ approaches toward existing global and regional challenges and threats. They are also expected to sign ten other documents on the current activities of the organization.
Member states also signed an agreement on military cooperation and cargo transportation, Sarkisian said on Tuesday, TASS reports.
“An agreement was signed on cooperation in the sphere of transporting military contingent and moveable property as well as military-purpose products,” Sarkisian told journalists following the summit in Tajikistan.
Sarkisian added that the CSTO members decided to extend an agreement on the logistics and technical support of railways in the countries of the post-Soviet security bloc.
Member states of the CSTO also approved a decision to make the post of the secretary general of the organization a rotating position, CSTO chief Nikolay Bordyuzha said on Tuesday.
“It was considered useful to switch in the future to the rotation system of the general secretary’s post. The heads of states set the task to devise a respective draft decision by December and introduce changes to the legal basis and the CSTO charter, what we will do now,” Bordyuzha said.
The Collective Security Treaty was signed in 1992 and the organization itself was established ten years later in 2002. Russia, which previously held the presidency in the CSTO, passed the rotating chair this year to Tajikistan.
During its presidency of the CSTO, Armenia will pay special attention to the development of the CSTO’s defense system, President Sarkisian said on Tuesday, suggesting that the CSTO create its own peacekeeping command.
“It is time to set up a basic organization to train CSTO peacekeepers,” Sargsyan said. “We suggest [that the] center for training [the] Armenian army’s peacekeeping brigade be considered as a base for such organization.”
“Such tasks as further improvement of control over the collective security system, including collective regional forces, promptness in taking and implementing decisions, holding joint drills, such as the Opyt-2016 exercises due in Armenia, are coming to the fore,” he said. “Of great importance is [the] joint effort to develop the system of CSTO crisis management.”
“Our efforts should be rooted in due account of joint liabilities and opinions of the partners,” Sarkisian said. “Another topical task is to expand CSTO’s cooperation with the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).”
According to Sarkisian, Armenia “will also focus on [the] joint struggle against international terrorism and radicalism, neo-fascism, chauvinism and other expressions of xenophobia.”
“In this context we attach importance to the intensification of joint efforts to tackle cybercrime,” the Armenian President said.
Armenia takes over the presidency of the CSTO after today’s session in Tajikistan.
The CSTO is a Moscow-led security alliance comprised of the former-Soviet republics of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan.