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 Wednesday, April 24 2024 11:16
Marianna Mkrtchyan

Balance of forces may change in South Caucasus in case of Armenia`s withdrawal from CSTO - Imangali Tasmagambetov

Balance of forces may change in South Caucasus in case of Armenia`s  withdrawal from CSTO - Imangali Tasmagambetov

ArmInfo. Despite Armenia's  decision to suspend participation in CSTO events, the organization  fully retains its obligations to Yerevan, CSTO Secretary General  Imangali Tasmagambetov stated in an interview with Izvestia.

"If the Armenian leadership decides to leave the organization, it  will be the sovereign right of Armenia," he emphasized. In its work,  the CSTO takes into account the increased activity of NATO in the  Transcaucasian region, however, the Collective Security Treaty offers  a soft alliance, which implies respect for the sovereignty of the  participating countries and the absence of strict bloc discipline ",  Tasmagambetov noted.

So, in order to clarify whether Yerevan's suspension of its  participation in the work of the CSTO affected the organization's  obligations to Armenia, the Secretary General, recognizing this fact,  assured that the main mechanisms of interaction are functioning, and  work on the organization's agenda continues.

"All obligations of the CSTO towards Armenia remain in full  accordance with the statutory goals and principles of the  organization," he explained.

When asked whether the CSTO expects a situation in which relations  with Armenia will be completely destroyed due to its rapprochement  with NATO and how the balance of power in the region will change if  Yerevan heads for confrontation with the CSTO, Tasmagambetov stated  that the West's policy towards Eurasian integration structures really  affects both the organization and partly the allies.

"At the same time, the experience of the CSTO - and on April 20 we  celebrated the 30th anniversary of the entry into force of the  Collective Security Treaty - shows a high degree of stability of the  organization and high adaptive potential.

It is important to note here that member states adhere to a  multi-vector policy in interaction with external players, which  remains their sovereign right. Accordingly, Yerevan's choice - to  remain part of the CSTO or leave the organization - will also be the  sovereign decision of this independent state. Another question is how  the current leadership of Armenia assesses the threats and risks to  national security that the country faces," he noted.

At the same time, the ODEB Secretary General added that analysts from  the Organization's secretariat indicate that the balance of forces in  the South Caucasus in the event of Armenia's withdrawal from the CSTO  may change, but in this case those factors of regional security will  come into play, the effect of which is now quite difficult to predict  and calculate.

"When discussing the likelihood of a confrontation between Armenia  and the CSTO, which I hope is no more than hypothetical, it is  necessary to take into account the resource base and real  capabilities of the parties, so this issue, even if it cannot  currently be classified as extremely urgent, requires analysis," he  added CSTO Secretary General.

Regarding the threats that the strengthening of NATO in the countries  of the Transcaucasian region - with Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan  for the CSTO - may pose, Tasmagambetov noted that the Secretariat of  the Organization in its work takes into account this activity of the  North Atlantic Alliance, analyzes the complex processes that take  place in NATO's area of responsibility, interests and capabilities of  its main participants.

"At the same time, we respect the foreign policy decisions of the  CSTO member states, which implement interaction with NATO, being in  the status of sovereign and independent states. Another question is  that the long period of allied relations within the CSTO and  cooperation with NATO in the format of implementing their most famous  projects allows the authorities of these countries can compare the  principles of decision- making, the consistency of security policy,  the parameters for the implementation of decisions taken, the nature  of multilateral relations from the point of view of equality and  mutual consideration of interests, etc.  All this allows us to  compare experience and predict how relations, in particular, with  NATO, can develop.  and draw appropriate conclusions.

In a rapidly changing world, sovereignty takes on additional value  and, in my opinion, becomes one of the key criteria for effective  alliances. From this point of view, the CSTO is an association where  this factor is fully taken into account. What we call soft alliance -  meaning primarily the absence of so-called hard bloc discipline - is  the strength of our organization. And the CSTO member states, of  course, take this into account when building their policies in the  field of ensuring national and regional security," the CSTO Secretary  General is confident.

- What security threats exist to the CSTO countries today? How ready  is the block to reflect them?

At the same time, Tasmagambetov assured that the degree of readiness  of the CSTO to repel security threats is high, and efforts are being  made to develop measures to neutralize threats of a hybrid nature.

Regarding the prospects for including new members in the  Organization, the Secretary General recalled that the Collective  Security Treaty Organization is open to interaction with those  countries that share its principles and goals and wish to join it.

"The prospects for the expansion of the CSTO are influenced by the  complex processes that are taking place in Eurasia as a macro-region.  On the one hand, as instability increases, the importance of regional  security systems also increases. However, on the other hand, the role  of regional and subregional processes that can hamper the development  and expansion of such structures.

In any case, the CSTO has proven its worth over the more than 30-year  period of its existence, and this is an important factor for our  potential allies. In addition, the organization closely cooperates  with such authoritative international associations as the UN, SCO,  CIS, and others. This also confirms the high level of trust of  national governments in our collective security system and its high  potential in preserving peace and stability," Tasmagambetov  concluded.  

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