After discordances lasting for about a year as a result of CSTO non-official summit launched in Bishkek on April 14 it became known that finally consensus has developed amid CSTO member countries regarding appointment of Armenian representative on the position of CSTO Secretary General. Representative from the Republic of Armenia is Yuri Khahaturov, Secretary of National Security Council, former Chief of the General Staff of the Armenian Armed Forces, will assume the post from May 2, 2017. From 2003 the post of CSTO Secretary General was assumed by representative from Russia Nikolay Bordyuzha, and yet around one year ago upon rotation order the post should have been passed on to Armenian representative, however, decision was made to postpone the issue for a year.
As already known, presidents of Kazakhstan and Belarus out of various reasons throughout last 1.5 year were avoiding from participation in CSTO summits, during which appointment of Armenian representative was to be covered, which, according to some experts was blocked by Azerbaijani president, who is in close ties with those countries, having fears that the Armenian side will use the platform in Karabakh conflict for its interests. According to some assessments Russia failed to solve the issue out of disagreements it has with Belarus and Kazakhstan.
According to Vladimir Yevseev, Russian military expert, this was artificially created issue, as it was planned that representatives of all CSTO member countries should assume the post and implement functions required from them. Definition of rotation order according to him was a rational decision, as all countries in the union should assume responsibility and participate in organization works of the union, which will raise interest of member countries in participation of organization works.
The analyst told “168 Hours” that fields of activity of CSTO, respectively borders of liabilities of the secretary general are very clearly enshrined. He believes this isn’t a political position, the secretary general isn’t entitled to make one-person decisions. “This is technical, organizational position, secretary general of which isn’t even mandatory to be from the military field,” Yevseev said.
“CSTO is meant to protect security of its member countries, which it’ll do if necessary. Such decisions are made during the summits by presidents of CSTO member countries. In this context actions taken by Russia after the clashes with Armenia in April should be observed. Armenia, the Armenian society is against this organization, however, pursuant agreements components, uncovered as weak as a result of the April War are being strengthened, i.e. if other CSTO member countries don’t fully implement responsibilities toward each other, Russia attempts to compensate it,” he said.
Pavel Felgenhauer, another military analyst, told “168 Hours” that he welcomes the fact that finally CSTO member countries have come to an agreement, which he didn’t expect. In his words, the situation established around the issue was explicable, as CSTO isn’t NATO. In his words, CSTO is organization established through efforts of one state, all member countries of which are connected to Russia with strong ties.
“Members of this organization don’t have shared target or purpose, that purpose is relations with Russia, and very little connects Belarus and Armenia, Kazakhstan and Armenia in this field, moreover, those countries have deep relations with Azerbaijan, that’s why the countries avoided appointment of Armenian representative in the post or attempted to deny the statements, provided by Bordyuzha on the situation on NK conflict zone, as these countries don’t need to mediate with NK conflict, there is no need to send troops to Karabakh or Armenia to wage a war against Azerbaijan.
Although such issue can’t emerge inside CSTO, as finally Karabakh isn’t Armenia, CSTO doesn’t have responsibilities toward Karabakh, and in case of tension on Karabakh-Azerbaijan border, consensus wouldn’t be reached.”
He believes the unexpectedly emerged Russia-USA crisis in Syria allowed Russia’s president to personally solve the issue, dictating it to its partners. “The situation emerged in international relations is a serious card in hands of Moscow. I consider under current situation it succeeded to give solution to the issue,” Felgenhauer said.
Asked what the Armenian side may gain by this appointment, Russian analyst said position in the organization, but not more. “This is simply a ritual position, basically decisions are made by the Russian side taking into account its partners. However, this post will provide the opportunity to use the platform and make Armenia’s security issues more audible, introduce them from Armenia’s perspective, this isn’t banned and Armenia’s representative may do it if desired and able to do that. It’s difficult to say what impact it may have on account of posture of Belarus and Kazakhstan in these issues, however, speaking of the issues will enlarge awareness, as well as Armenia’s security level,” Pavel Felgenhauer said.
According to Vladimir Yevseev the position is a platform, which may be used. “The post assumes wider opportunities for communication. Armenia’s representative may make use of those communications, raise Armenia’s security through non-official tubes, make use of organization resources,” he said.
By Araks Martirosyan