Stanislav Zas, the secretary general of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) has told reporters that the situation on the southern part of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border was a “border incident”, and thus, does not fall under the provisions of the CSTO charter on collective defence, Russia’s TASS news agency reports.
Zas told reporters, “You have to understand that the CSTO potential is used only in the event of an aggression, an attack [on one of the member countries]. Here we are dealing, in fact, with a border incident. Thank God, there are no casualties, there is no shooting there. This is a border incident – it must be solved, and we are in favour of solving it peacefully.”
The situation on the border started on 12 May, when Armenia accused Azerbaijani troops of an incursion into Armenian sovereign territory in its Syunik and Gegharkunik regions. Azerbaijan maintains that its troops are on Azerbaijani territory in line with maps available to both sides. On 14 May, the Armenian prime minister, Nikol Pashinyan, formally appealed to the CSTO to trigger article 2 of the collective security treaty over what he described as a provocation “fully consistent” with the provisions of the treaty.
Following Armenia’s application, Zas says that the CSTO held consultations on the border issue. “Such consultations were held at the level of defence ministers, secretaries of security councils, and I contacted both the Armenian foreign minister and the defence minister. We discussed this situation. In addition, we already had a general discussion of this situation during the Ministerial Council [Council of Ministers Foreign Affairs of the CSTO] in Dushanbe,” he said.
“The decision to form a monitoring group was not made, although, of course, the situation is being monitored”, the secretary general added.