STEPANAKERT (Tert.am)—Vice-Premier of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) Artur Aghabekyan believes that the Armenian sides’ combined forces rather than the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) are Armenia’s number one security guarantee.
Like the Chief of the Joint Staff of the Armed Forces of Armenia, Yuri Khachaturov, Aghabekyan is critical of the CSTO for having not made a single statement on the developments on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.
Colonel-General Yuri Khachaturov specifically stated that CSTO member-states should be more active in responding to Azerbaijan’s attacks.
“Regrettably, no serious response has so far been recorded,” he said.
“One thing is public opinion that the day after an aggression against Armenia the CSTO must take on a task of ensuring Armenia’s military security. On the other hand, even as a political-military alliance, the CSTO must state its attitude to all that is going on at Armenia’s borders. So the chief of joint staff is absolutely right,” said Aghabekyan.
Russian experts have reportedly said that the CSTO will uphold its commitment to improve the Armenian Armed Forces’ efficiency. They stressed, however, that according to Armenia’s military doctrine, the country is supposed to rely primarily on its own forces in the case of external aggression.
“Our military doctrine was developed at the right time and in its final form, as a strategic document, it was presented when our unfriendly neighbors’ activities were obvious. In this aspect our doctrine’s logic is that we must rely on ourselves. And if the CSTO member-states’ experts refer to our doctrine, I think they should also voice their opinion on the CSTO’s actions and position,” Aghabekyan said.
As to whether the CSTO’s inaction and Armenia’s self-reliance is evidence that the CSTO has lost its functional role, Aghabekyan said:
“It would not say so. Both the CSTO and NATO are political-military structures. And agreements reached within political-military structures are only mutually effective, in mutual interests. We must not consider the CSTO a guarantor of our country’s security. When our society, political figures and authorities declare that we ourselves, our combined forces, are [the] number one guarantee of our own security, our society will assign a clear role to the CSTO, NATO and bilateral intergovernmental agreements, which we have signed since we gained independence.”