ArmInfo. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko and Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev's opposition to the appointment of a representative of Armenia as the CSTO Secretary General is evidence of the greater importance of relations with Azerbaijan for them than of the capacity and future of the CSTO as a whole. Such an opinion was expressed to ArmInfo by President of the Scientific Society of Caucasus Studies Alexander Krylov.
"In other words, such priorities of the policies of Minsk and Astana are so much important for them that following them they may quite jeopardize the prospects for the very existence of the CSTO. Accordingly, if this situation continued, the Organization will, at best, become a sort of analog of the CIS, or it will cease to exist at all. Thus, the possibility of advancing the interests of Azerbaijan through partnership with Lukashenko and Nazarbayev gives Ilham Aliyev substantial levers of pressure on Armenia, "the political scientist believes.
In this light, Krylov assesses the current situation in the CSTO as extraordinary, since Minsk and Astana proceed from the interests of Azerbaijan, which is not a member of the Organization. Such a situation, Krylov believes, is a gross violation of the CSTO Charter, in which the transfer of the post of Secretary General for three years by each of the member countries is clearly proscribed. And the most important thing is that there are no restrictions on the number of country representatives in case of early termination of powers.
As a result of the early recall by Yerevan of the former Chief of the General Staff of the Armenian Armed Forces Yuri Khachaturov from the post of CSTO Secretary General, this post is vacant from November 2, 2018 to this day, despite the fact that the current CSTO Chairman - Armenia has put forward a new candidate as a replacement for the recalled Secretary General. And, given that Khachaturov worked only half of the three years laid down, and the term of the chairmanship expires only in 2020, Yerevan quite reasonably insists on appointing its own representative. The name of the Armenian candidate is not named, however, according to the insider information embedded in the media, the candidate is former Minister of Defense of the Republic, Lieutenant-General Vagharshak Harutyunyan.
The chairmanship in the Organization passes from one state to the next in accordance with the Russian alphabet. Proceeding from this, Belarus following the alphabet after Armenia nominated its own candidate to the Secretary of State of the Security Council of the Republic Stanislav Zas. In total 6 countries remain in the CSTO, after the regular exit of Uzbekistan: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan. According to the CSTO Charter, a decision on the appointment of a new Secretary General in any case can be made only in the format of the six CSTO countries solely on the basis of consensus, taking into account the interests of all parties.