ArmInfo.By "abstaining" from voting on the situation in Ukraine at the UN General Assembly official Yerevan was, no doubt, acting in Armenia's security interests, Stepan Safaryan of the Armenian Institute of International and Security Affairs said in an interview with ArmInfo.
"And Armenia is quite likely to be made to choose between Russia and Ukraine sooner or later. And this choice is going to be most undesirable and painful for us. In any case, Armenia is not an international actor expected to make active political steps or statements on the situation in Ukraine, especially in the context of aftermath of the 44-day Azerbaijani aggression. With serious national security problems, Armenia cannot afford a luxury of choosing between two important centers of powers in this particular process," Mr Safaryan said.
Comparing the situation in Ukraine with the 44-day war in Artsakh, Mr Safaryan explained the substantial differences between the international reaction to Ukraine and the lack thereof in Artsakh's case by the fact that Ukraine is positioning itself as part of Europe, whereas Armenia cannot act similarly.
Commenting on the Moscow-Kiev negotiations simultaneously with the hostilities, Mr Safaryan believes it is Moscow's attempt to size up the consequences of threats and hostilities for Kiev. According to him, President Vladimir Putin is seeking to force his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy into admitting Ukraine's defeat himself - by means of threats and surrounding Ukrainian cities, without establishing control over Kiev.
"In any case, Armenia-like countries do not at all benefit from the collapse of the existing world order, as it is the world's most vulnerable regions of simmering conflicts that suffer in such cases, and the conflict over Artsakh is one of them. I think we should always bear it in mind in making statements addressed to both our ally Russia and the West," Mr Safaryan said.
On March 3, the Russian president introduced before the State Duma the bill on ratification of the protocol on amendments to the Agreement on CSTO peacekeeping activities, which was signed in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, on September 16, 2021. The protocol introduces the concept of "Coordinator-State" and provides for the formation of CSTO peacekeeping forces under the Coordinator-State's auspices to be involved in UN peacekeeping operations. Signing and ratifying the protocol opens up opportunities for collective involvement in UN peacekeeping operations in behalf of the CSTO, with one of the CSTO member-state as coordinator.
Commenting on this fact, Mr Safaryan said that the reason for the bill is Moscow realizing the stalemate situation in Ukraine. Specifically, the reason is the lack of consensus on the situation in Ukraine within the CSTO.
"We can see Moscow has never succeeded in ensuring unanimity of views within the CSTO, which convinced Valdimir Putin of the CSTO's nonexistence as a military bloc. Nonetheless, Russia cannot ignore the other CSTO member-states' positions, which necessitates an expeditious ratification of the protocol. That decision would allow Moscow to play a key role in making decisions on Ukraine. In other words, it is an attempt to preclude further disagreements," the expert said.