While visiting Yerevan on Friday, the Secretary General of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, concurred that President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan, during a recent speech in Ankara, contradicted earlier agreements made by him and the leaders of Armenia, Russia and the European Union.
Speaking at the summit of the Organization of Turkic States, Aliyev called Armenia “Western Azerbaijan” and faulted Yerevan for not advancing the so-called “Zangezur Corridor” effort. Aliyev, along with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan agreed that Armenia and Azerbaijan will respect each other’s territorial integrity in two separate meetings last fall in Prague and later in Sochi, Russia.
Armenia’s Foreign Ministry warned that Aliyev’s speech was “a clear manifestation of territorial claims against the Republic of Armenia and preparation of another aggression.”
CSTO Secretary General Imangali Tasmagambetov told Armenia’s National Security Chief Armen Grigoryan that he believed that Aliyev’s latest speech “contradicts the Prague and Sochi statements.”
The current situation along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border, as well as the crisis that have ensued as a result of Azerbaijan’s blockade of Artsakh were topics of discussion with Grigoryan, as well as Pashinyan and Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan.
Pashinyan and Tasmagambetov also exchanged views about the current responsibilities of the CSTO, regional developments and security challenges. In this context they also discussed a number of issues related to the Armenian-Azerbaijani border situation and the CSTO collective defense mechanisms, according to a short statement from the prime minister’s press office.
Pashinyan and his government have been on a collision course with the Russia-led CSTO ever since the security bloc, of which Armenia is a member, did not send assistance when Azerbaijan invaded Armenia in September 2022. Instead the group sent two fact-finding missions and later failed to condemn Azerbaijan for its military advances.
During his meeting with Tasmagambetov, Mirzoyan emphasized the need for a clear and targeted response by the CSTO to the military aggression carried out by Azerbaijan against the sovereign territory of Armenia, which is a member of the CSTO.
Mirzoyan also stressed the imperative for the implementation of the November 9, 2020 Trilateral Statement and the decision made by the International Court of Justice on February 22, compelling Azerbaijan to end the Lachin Corridor blockade.
The foreign minister emphasized that with its ongoing provocations Azerbaijan is disrupting efforts to establish peace and stability in the region, while Baku’s hostile rhetoric is aimed at preparing ground for the use of large-scale force against the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia, as well as Nagorno-Karabakh.