Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday said that the Collective Security Treaty Organization is prepared to send a monitoring mission to the Armenia-Azerbaijan border.
“Despite the fact that Russia and Armenia are allies and despite the fact that this mission is completely ready, Armenia has preferred to make an arrangement with the European Union in order to deploy a civilian monitoring mission on the border with Azerbaijan on a long-term basis,” Lavrov said at a new conference.
The Russian foreign minister was referring to recent statements from Europe suggesting that the EU was prepared to send a monitoring mission for the next two years.
Lavrov said that it was within Armenia’s rights to agree to a mission from the EU. However, he said, “we must not forget that it’s about the border with Azerbaijan, and probably, if this mission is deployed without Azerbaijan’s consent, it may be ineffective.”
“Instead of strengthening confidence on the border, it can create additional tension,” Lavrov added.
“We have difficulties related to the situation in Armenia. When our Armenian friends were pushing the issue of the need for a CSTO mission on the border with Azerbaijan, to ensure some stability there, during the summit in Yerevan, we reached an agreement on a document regarding the parameters of this mission. But it failed to be adopted because our Armenian colleagues began to insist that Azerbaijan should be strongly condemned in that document,” Lavrov explained.
“We explained that if it is about condemnation, rhetoric, expressing positions, then everyone is free to do what they want. But if we want to send a CSTO mission, then this is not necessarily conditioned by some external signals, some—rather harsh—statements,” rationalized Lavrov.