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Failed attempt of Nikol Pashinyan to use CSTO against Azerbaijan

photo: primeminister.am
29 October 2022
Alexander Shpakovsky Alexander Shpakovsky

Alexander Shpakovsky |Minsk

CISS expert

On October 31, Sochi will host trilateral negotiations with participation of the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia Vladimir Putin, Ilham Aliyev and Nikol Pashinyan. The Russian Federation initiated this meeting within the framework of Moscows consistent policy of assuring stability in the Southern Caucasus and peaceful reconciliation based on the Trilateral Statement dated 10 November 2020 and follow-up agreements achieved in elaboration of this agreement.

CSTO Summit: the compelling stand of the President of Belarus

It is noteworthy that on October 28, shortly before the meeting in Sochi, and extraordinary session of the CSTO Collective Security Council was held in a video conference format. It was preceded by consultations of the Foreign Affairs Ministers of the CSTO member countries. In the course of the session, Stanislav Zas, the CSTO General Secretary delivered a report about the outcomes of the CSTO mission to Armenia, which arrived on 15 September 2022 in the context of escalation at the Armenian Azerbaijanian border, where on the night of 13 September 2022 military clashes using the heavy arms and UAVs. [1]

Conspicuous is the fact that in his speech Nikol Pashinyan, the Armenian Prime Minister, currently acting as the Chairman of the CSTO Collective Security Council, expressed Yerevans expectations with respect to the CSTO response to the on-going conflict. In particular, the Armenian leader emphasized the necessity for «clearcut political assessment of the situation on behalf of CSTO», demanded condemnation of Azerbaijans actions on 12-14 September 2022 and development of a «Road Map to reinstate the territorial integrity of Armenia». [2]

It should be noted that this speech by Nikol Pashinyan met with a mixed reaction of the participants of the meeting, and first of all of Alexander Lukashenko, the President of the Republic of Belarus, with his usual bluntness called the issues raised by the Armenian leader «more than strange».

«You raised two issues here. The first one (I am reading your text): «Evaluation of the events and CSTOs position». You demanded that we define our position. Do you mean you do not know our position? We want peaceful settlement of the conflict between the two neighboring countries. The second issue: «Give us the Road Map to reinstate the territorial integrity of Armenia». What Road Map? I will give you the answer right away: sit together with Ilham Aliyev, if you need help call the President of Russia, and make the decision. If you do not do it today, tomorrow will be even worse, you understand that perfectly well yourself. We do not need that conflict», Alexander Lukashenko stated.

Saying so, the leader of Belarus especially emphasized the fact that both Armenia and Azerbaijan for centuries have been parts of a single stately and civilizational space, they have common Soviet past and are friendly towards all other CIS countries. Moreover, in the opinion of Lukashenko, the Armenian-Azerbaijanian conflict does not make sense from the standpoint of political and economic pragmatism («What are you fighting for in these mountains, where people do not live and even goats do not wander?») and may be settled in the short-term perspective by way of diplomacy via direct contacts with Ilham Aliyev, the President of Azerbaijan, against guarantees of the Russian Federation («Sit together, you two, and get to an agreement! And let Russia bless this agreement»).

«The issue is very sensitive and delicate. It is not that CSTO is on one side, and Azerbaijan is on the other side. These are two friendly countries for us. Yes, indeed, they used to be in one single state. And more over, we are CIS member countries together with Armenia and Azerbaijan. We have very close connections with friendly Armenia. And with another friendly Moslem country Azerbaijan. This is especially sensitive for the CSTO member countries including Russia, where 30 mln Moslems live. I mean we need to take into account all the factors and nuances. And finally, is Azerbaijan an enemy for the leaders of other countries present here? No, it is not. I will just confirm what has already been said by President Putin: Armenia and Azerbaijan are both part of our family. The leader of Azerbaijan today Ilham Aliyev is absolutely our family member», the leader of Belarus stated.

Hence, the President of Belarus from the very beginning excluded any conspiracy whatsoever, associated with the military settlement of the conflict using CSTO capabilities. In this case the position is unambiguous: only peaceful political and diplomatic settlement by way of negotiations between the warring parties with the Russian Federation as the intermediary. Alexander Lukashenko emphasized the focus of CSTO member countries on developing friendly relations with Azerbaijan and personally with President Aliyev, whose approaches to acute issues of foreign and domestic policy to a great extent coincide with the CSTO position.

Another very important focus in Lukashenkos speech was connected with geopolitics. The leader of Belarus quite justifiably believes that the conflicts in the post-Soviet area are warmed up by the external forces the historical opponents of Russia with the purpose of slackening Moscow on the global political arena and in the area of its traditional influence. «They are hammering us along the entire perimeter of Russia», the President of Belarus emphasized. «The Baltic states were unfastened much earlier, you know that. In 2020, they attempted to bring Belarus to the knees. Then it was Ukraines turn. Walking along the perimeter the Caucasus and then Central Asia. Who does not understand this? We all understand. That is why any conflict and any our movements today we should be viewing in this global context», the President of Belarus summarized. [3]

On certain aspect of confrontation of Russia and the West in the South Caucasus

The President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin supported his colleague from Belarus by saying pretty much similar things: «Without any doubt, the only possible and realistic way to peace may be the way paved by rigorous compliance with all the provisions of the well-known joint statements of the leaders of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan I will not be listing all of them now. It is consistent abidance by all these agreements on the way of delimiting the Armenian-Azerbaijanian borders, debottlenecking transport communications, resolving humanitarian issues that will allow for sustainable normalization of the relations». [4]

Based on the above it seems that the strategy of Russia and CSTO in the South Caucasus should be targeted at exclusion of escalation between Armenia and Azerbaijan, of using this conflict by the collective West in its geopolitical game («The Great Game») against Russia. It means that engaging third parties in the peaceful settlement process, allowing the admission of any Western observers mission in the conflict zone is unacceptable and contradicting with the regional security interests.

The discussion about the need to develop some additional Road Maps should also be viewed in the same focus. It appears that the optimal route taking into account the military and political realities based on the results of the Second Karabakh War, the international law provisions and the regional stability tasks already exists. At the same time, in our opinion, the regulatory framework developed with participation of Russia takes into account the national interests of both Azerbaijan and Armenia, because the demarcation and delimitation of the borders and reinstatement of transport communications will allow for stable development of both countries in the long term without the risk of resuming military confrontation.

At the same time, regrettably, far from everyone in the Armenian political establishment understands that, which allows for the West to create the illusion of support for Yerevan playing on the national ambition patterns. In fact, we can observe the instigation to non-compliance with the provisions of the Trilateral Statement and follow-up agreements, promoting some «new formats», defamation of Russia as the peaceful settlement guarantor, and the USA and France are especially active in that.

The visit of Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the US Congress, to Armenia on 17-18 September 2022, as well as the arrival of the French Military Ministry delegation headed by Guillaume Olanjie, the Director of the General Directorate for International Relations and Strategy. It is noteworthy that the visit of the French delegation and their negotiations with Armen Grigoryan, the Secretary of the Security Council of Armenia, took place on October 27, i.e., on the eve of the extraordinary session of the CSTO Collective Security Council, where Nikol Pashinyan voiced his «acute issues».

What is worrying is the decision of Yerevan to host the so-called «civil mission of the European Union», which Ararat Mirzoyan, the Foreign Affairs Minister of Armenia, called very important after receiving Toivo Klaar, the special emissary of the EU on the South Caucasus and Georgian crisis on October 28, i.e., precisely on the day of the CSTO Collective Security Council session. [5]

At the same time, the ability of several dozens of the so-called «observers» from the EU to facilitate the peaceful settlement of the Armenia and Azerbaijan confrontation is highly questionable. In our opinion, this mission has no instruments for assuring peace, and Brussels does not have any specific proposals to settle the conflict. In this context, the question about the true objectives of the EU mission becomes especially relevant, as its members are mostly staff and special agents of NATO countries intelligence, as specialists on security matters say.

On top of that, it is not clear how the arrival of the EU «specialists» promotes the rapprochement of the parties, and how they can incentivize Armenia to fulfil its obligations under the Trilateral Statement and the follow-up agreements. In fact, the mission is not about «peace-making», but about the West interfering into the process of Armenian-Azerbaijanian settlement, which is not only contradicting the letter and spirit of the executed agreement, but also does not facilitate the conflict resolution, on the contrary, significantly complicates the already complicated situation in the South Caucasus.

We believe that the West uses certain ambitions and attitudes of a part of the Armenian society as «entry points» to change the moderator of the negotiations, to drive Russia out of the region and eventually to destabilize the North-South International Transport Corridor, which is especially important for Moscow in the context of rigorous Western sanctions. From the CSTO interests standpoint, the risk of the EU «civil mission» transforming into a full-fledged NATO military mission cannot be ignored.

The destructive activities of the Western countries to compromise Russia, CSTO and EAEU in the eyes of the Armenian society using the influence agents and «soft power» tools are evident. In this context, we need to pay attention to numerous public actions of Armenian radical nationalists claiming to reduce the level of allied relations with the RF and to exit CSTO. These actions took place in Yerevan and other cities in September October 2022 under the passive eye of the authorities. In the opinion of Karen Sarkisyan, one of the ideologists of the protests, «the only agenda for today is to demand from out government for Armenia to exit CSTO. After that, we will start negotiations with our real allies about the ways to assure security of our country». [6]

It would be highly nonchalant not to notice such manifestations in Armenia, especially with account of the lessons learned from the Ukrainian crisis. In this situation, the results of the sociological survey held by the International Republican Institute (IRI) the allegedly «non-government» organization, where senator Dan Sullivan is the Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Despite the fact that 71% of the respondents call the relations with Russia «good» and 57% of them believe Moscow to be the most important partner for Yerevan, 15% of the respondents think that Russia is the biggest political threat, 17% believe it to be a threat in the economic sphere, and 11% in the sphere of security. At the same time, 9% of the respondent call the relations with Russia «very bad» and 16% «relatively bad» (it is interesting that 97% of the respondents call the relations with France «good» or «very good»). [7]

The fact that Russia (a guarantor of sovereignty and security for Armenia) was for the first time included into such survey as a «threat» is of special concern, because it is so perceived by a certain part of the Armenian society. We deem it possible to affirm that such negative results are connected with rather high efficiency of the systematic Western anti-Russian propaganda disseminated by numerous non-government media and NGOs operating in the territory of Armenia and funded by foreign grants. It is necessary to take into account that 64% of the respondents in Armenia use the American social media Facebook (Meta)* and believe it to be an important source of information.

Specialists from the Internet resource «Rhythm of Eurasia» provide the key narratives of anti-Russian propaganda, which the West tries to imbed into the minds of Armenians:

  • Russia is unreliable ally; it always betrayed and will betray Armenia;
  • during the recent war in Karabakh, Russia, just like 100 years ago, got into cahoots with Azerbaijan and Turkey against Armenia. [8]

Against the background of all this, the demonstrative speech by Nikol Pashinyan at the CSTO event claiming to develop new «Road Maps», to «protect Armenia» (even though all the rules and  step-by-step strategy have been defined back in 2020 by the normative framework) look not just provocative, but as a purposeful attempt to stir up negative emotions in the Armenian society towards the Russian Federation in accordance to the above-described narratives of Western propaganda.

Another exhibitory fact is that such actions are taking place against the background of permanent contacts of the Armenian ruling coterie with representatives of Western political, military and intelligence circles, which are currently on the war-path with the Russian Federation in the territory of Ukraine implementing aggressive economic sanctions and producing political antagonism at various international platforms.

To counteract Russia in the South Caucasus and many other regions, the collective West is using the defamation and stigmatization tools resembling the Nazi propaganda formula: «the bigger the lie, the more it will be believed». In this connection we may remember the recent absolutely false statements by Emmanuel Macron, the President of France, who was on the air of France 2 TV channel and blamed Russia for «aggravating the situation at the Armenian-Azerbaijanian border with the purpose to destabilize the situation in the Caucasus and beyond». Evidently, in this case we can observe purposeful misinformation of the global public, a rotten propaganda trick, when thanks to the French leader Moscow instead of the main stakeholder and guarantor of the peaceful settlement in the South Caucasus is presented as an aggressor and war-monger.

Conclusion

It is obvious that the objective of the West is not to «save Armenia», even though some nave political players in Yerevan think so. Russia and its CSTO allies will be responding very hard to the threats of their interests in the South Caucasus with the objective to settle the regional conflict without external actors and based on the already developed normative framework.

The results of the extraordinary CSTO session reveal the lack of prospects for the attempt to substitute the steady progress along the lines of the agreed peaceful settlement Road Map with emotional statements of Yerevan and its vagaries. Azerbaijan is a strategically important partner and ally for Russia (the respective Declaration about allys interaction was signed on 22 February 2022) and for other CSO countries, respectively, CSTO will be assisting in searching for political and diplomatic debottlenecking of the issues between Baku and Yerevan.

The Federal Financial Monitoring Service of Russia included Meta Corporation into the list of terrorists and extremists, its activity, as well as the activity of social media Facebook and Instagram are prohibited in the territory of the Russian Federation.

1. Collective Security Treaty Organization, 28.10.2022. https://odkb-csto.org/news/news_odkb/vneocherednaya-sessiya-soveta-kollektivnoy-bezopasnosti-odkb-proydet-28-oktyabrya-2022-goda/#loaded

2. News channel No. 1, 28.10.2022. https://www.1lurer.am/ru/2022/10/28/---------/822655

3. The President of the Republic of Belarus. Participation in the extraordinary session of the CSTO Collective Security Council, 28.10.2022. https://president.gov.by/ru/events/uchastie-vo-vneocherednoy-sessii-soveta-kollektivnoy-bezopasnosti-odkb-1666952783

4. Cordial agreement: Putin listed the terms of peace between Baku and Yerevan. Izvestia, 28.10.2022. https://iz.ru/1417517/alena-nefedova/dogovor-po-dusham-putin-nazval-usloviia-mira-mezhdu-baku-i-erevanom

5. They talked about the importance of the EU civil mission to Armenia. Krasnaya Vesna Information Agency. 28.10.2022. https://rossaprimavera.ru/news/293ed7f5

6. Action for exiting CSTO in Yerevan. TASS, 18.09.2022. https://tass.ru/mezhdunarodnaya-panorama/15789053

7. Rhythm of Eurasia. 15% of Armenian citizens included Russia in top 3 threats for their country. Why? 03.02.2022. https://www.ritmeurasia.org/news--2022-02-03--15-zhitelej-armenii-vkljuchili-rossiju-v-top-3-ugroz-strany.-pochemu-58473

8. It is an American survey, but it reminds of Russian soft power. Rhythm of Eurasia, 12.02.2022. https://www.ritmeurasia.org/news--2022-02-12--armenija-socopros-amerikanskij-a-napominaet-o-rossijskoj-mjagkoj-sile-58595

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Publications

Failed attempt of Nikol Pashinyan to use CSTO against Azerbaijan

photo: primeminister.am
29 2022
Alexander Shpakovsky

Alexander Shpakovsky | Minsk

CISS expert

On October 31, Sochi will host trilateral negotiations with participation of the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia Vladimir Putin, Ilham Aliyev and Nikol Pashinyan. The Russian Federation initiated this meeting within the framework of Moscows consistent policy of assuring stability in the Southern Caucasus and peaceful reconciliation based on the Trilateral Statement dated 10 November 2020 and follow-up agreements achieved in elaboration of this agreement.

CSTO Summit: the compelling stand of the President of Belarus

It is noteworthy that on October 28, shortly before the meeting in Sochi, and extraordinary session of the CSTO Collective Security Council was held in a video conference format. It was preceded by consultations of the Foreign Affairs Ministers of the CSTO member countries. In the course of the session, Stanislav Zas, the CSTO General Secretary delivered a report about the outcomes of the CSTO mission to Armenia, which arrived on 15 September 2022 in the context of escalation at the Armenian Azerbaijanian border, where on the night of 13 September 2022 military clashes using the heavy arms and UAVs. [1]

Conspicuous is the fact that in his speech Nikol Pashinyan, the Armenian Prime Minister, currently acting as the Chairman of the CSTO Collective Security Council, expressed Yerevans expectations with respect to the CSTO response to the on-going conflict. In particular, the Armenian leader emphasized the necessity for «clearcut political assessment of the situation on behalf of CSTO», demanded condemnation of Azerbaijans actions on 12-14 September 2022 and development of a «Road Map to reinstate the territorial integrity of Armenia». [2]

It should be noted that this speech by Nikol Pashinyan met with a mixed reaction of the participants of the meeting, and first of all of Alexander Lukashenko, the President of the Republic of Belarus, with his usual bluntness called the issues raised by the Armenian leader «more than strange».

«You raised two issues here. The first one (I am reading your text): «Evaluation of the events and CSTOs position». You demanded that we define our position. Do you mean you do not know our position? We want peaceful settlement of the conflict between the two neighboring countries. The second issue: «Give us the Road Map to reinstate the territorial integrity of Armenia». What Road Map? I will give you the answer right away: sit together with Ilham Aliyev, if you need help call the President of Russia, and make the decision. If you do not do it today, tomorrow will be even worse, you understand that perfectly well yourself. We do not need that conflict», Alexander Lukashenko stated.

Saying so, the leader of Belarus especially emphasized the fact that both Armenia and Azerbaijan for centuries have been parts of a single stately and civilizational space, they have common Soviet past and are friendly towards all other CIS countries. Moreover, in the opinion of Lukashenko, the Armenian-Azerbaijanian conflict does not make sense from the standpoint of political and economic pragmatism («What are you fighting for in these mountains, where people do not live and even goats do not wander?») and may be settled in the short-term perspective by way of diplomacy via direct contacts with Ilham Aliyev, the President of Azerbaijan, against guarantees of the Russian Federation («Sit together, you two, and get to an agreement! And let Russia bless this agreement»).

«The issue is very sensitive and delicate. It is not that CSTO is on one side, and Azerbaijan is on the other side. These are two friendly countries for us. Yes, indeed, they used to be in one single state. And more over, we are CIS member countries together with Armenia and Azerbaijan. We have very close connections with friendly Armenia. And with another friendly Moslem country Azerbaijan. This is especially sensitive for the CSTO member countries including Russia, where 30 mln Moslems live. I mean we need to take into account all the factors and nuances. And finally, is Azerbaijan an enemy for the leaders of other countries present here? No, it is not. I will just confirm what has already been said by President Putin: Armenia and Azerbaijan are both part of our family. The leader of Azerbaijan today Ilham Aliyev is absolutely our family member», the leader of Belarus stated.

Hence, the President of Belarus from the very beginning excluded any conspiracy whatsoever, associated with the military settlement of the conflict using CSTO capabilities. In this case the position is unambiguous: only peaceful political and diplomatic settlement by way of negotiations between the warring parties with the Russian Federation as the intermediary. Alexander Lukashenko emphasized the focus of CSTO member countries on developing friendly relations with Azerbaijan and personally with President Aliyev, whose approaches to acute issues of foreign and domestic policy to a great extent coincide with the CSTO position.

Another very important focus in Lukashenkos speech was connected with geopolitics. The leader of Belarus quite justifiably believes that the conflicts in the post-Soviet area are warmed up by the external forces the historical opponents of Russia with the purpose of slackening Moscow on the global political arena and in the area of its traditional influence. «They are hammering us along the entire perimeter of Russia», the President of Belarus emphasized. «The Baltic states were unfastened much earlier, you know that. In 2020, they attempted to bring Belarus to the knees. Then it was Ukraines turn. Walking along the perimeter the Caucasus and then Central Asia. Who does not understand this? We all understand. That is why any conflict and any our movements today we should be viewing in this global context», the President of Belarus summarized. [3]

On certain aspect of confrontation of Russia and the West in the South Caucasus

The President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin supported his colleague from Belarus by saying pretty much similar things: «Without any doubt, the only possible and realistic way to peace may be the way paved by rigorous compliance with all the provisions of the well-known joint statements of the leaders of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan I will not be listing all of them now. It is consistent abidance by all these agreements on the way of delimiting the Armenian-Azerbaijanian borders, debottlenecking transport communications, resolving humanitarian issues that will allow for sustainable normalization of the relations». [4]

Based on the above it seems that the strategy of Russia and CSTO in the South Caucasus should be targeted at exclusion of escalation between Armenia and Azerbaijan, of using this conflict by the collective West in its geopolitical game («The Great Game») against Russia. It means that engaging third parties in the peaceful settlement process, allowing the admission of any Western observers mission in the conflict zone is unacceptable and contradicting with the regional security interests.

The discussion about the need to develop some additional Road Maps should also be viewed in the same focus. It appears that the optimal route taking into account the military and political realities based on the results of the Second Karabakh War, the international law provisions and the regional stability tasks already exists. At the same time, in our opinion, the regulatory framework developed with participation of Russia takes into account the national interests of both Azerbaijan and Armenia, because the demarcation and delimitation of the borders and reinstatement of transport communications will allow for stable development of both countries in the long term without the risk of resuming military confrontation.

At the same time, regrettably, far from everyone in the Armenian political establishment understands that, which allows for the West to create the illusion of support for Yerevan playing on the national ambition patterns. In fact, we can observe the instigation to non-compliance with the provisions of the Trilateral Statement and follow-up agreements, promoting some «new formats», defamation of Russia as the peaceful settlement guarantor, and the USA and France are especially active in that.

The visit of Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the US Congress, to Armenia on 17-18 September 2022, as well as the arrival of the French Military Ministry delegation headed by Guillaume Olanjie, the Director of the General Directorate for International Relations and Strategy. It is noteworthy that the visit of the French delegation and their negotiations with Armen Grigoryan, the Secretary of the Security Council of Armenia, took place on October 27, i.e., on the eve of the extraordinary session of the CSTO Collective Security Council, where Nikol Pashinyan voiced his «acute issues».

What is worrying is the decision of Yerevan to host the so-called «civil mission of the European Union», which Ararat Mirzoyan, the Foreign Affairs Minister of Armenia, called very important after receiving Toivo Klaar, the special emissary of the EU on the South Caucasus and Georgian crisis on October 28, i.e., precisely on the day of the CSTO Collective Security Council session. [5]

At the same time, the ability of several dozens of the so-called «observers» from the EU to facilitate the peaceful settlement of the Armenia and Azerbaijan confrontation is highly questionable. In our opinion, this mission has no instruments for assuring peace, and Brussels does not have any specific proposals to settle the conflict. In this context, the question about the true objectives of the EU mission becomes especially relevant, as its members are mostly staff and special agents of NATO countries intelligence, as specialists on security matters say.

On top of that, it is not clear how the arrival of the EU «specialists» promotes the rapprochement of the parties, and how they can incentivize Armenia to fulfil its obligations under the Trilateral Statement and the follow-up agreements. In fact, the mission is not about «peace-making», but about the West interfering into the process of Armenian-Azerbaijanian settlement, which is not only contradicting the letter and spirit of the executed agreement, but also does not facilitate the conflict resolution, on the contrary, significantly complicates the already complicated situation in the South Caucasus.

We believe that the West uses certain ambitions and attitudes of a part of the Armenian society as «entry points» to change the moderator of the negotiations, to drive Russia out of the region and eventually to destabilize the North-South International Transport Corridor, which is especially important for Moscow in the context of rigorous Western sanctions. From the CSTO interests standpoint, the risk of the EU «civil mission» transforming into a full-fledged NATO military mission cannot be ignored.

The destructive activities of the Western countries to compromise Russia, CSTO and EAEU in the eyes of the Armenian society using the influence agents and «soft power» tools are evident. In this context, we need to pay attention to numerous public actions of Armenian radical nationalists claiming to reduce the level of allied relations with the RF and to exit CSTO. These actions took place in Yerevan and other cities in September October 2022 under the passive eye of the authorities. In the opinion of Karen Sarkisyan, one of the ideologists of the protests, «the only agenda for today is to demand from out government for Armenia to exit CSTO. After that, we will start negotiations with our real allies about the ways to assure security of our country». [6]

It would be highly nonchalant not to notice such manifestations in Armenia, especially with account of the lessons learned from the Ukrainian crisis. In this situation, the results of the sociological survey held by the International Republican Institute (IRI) the allegedly «non-government» organization, where senator Dan Sullivan is the Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Despite the fact that 71% of the respondents call the relations with Russia «good» and 57% of them believe Moscow to be the most important partner for Yerevan, 15% of the respondents think that Russia is the biggest political threat, 17% believe it to be a threat in the economic sphere, and 11% in the sphere of security. At the same time, 9% of the respondent call the relations with Russia «very bad» and 16% «relatively bad» (it is interesting that 97% of the respondents call the relations with France «good» or «very good»). [7]

The fact that Russia (a guarantor of sovereignty and security for Armenia) was for the first time included into such survey as a «threat» is of special concern, because it is so perceived by a certain part of the Armenian society. We deem it possible to affirm that such negative results are connected with rather high efficiency of the systematic Western anti-Russian propaganda disseminated by numerous non-government media and NGOs operating in the territory of Armenia and funded by foreign grants. It is necessary to take into account that 64% of the respondents in Armenia use the American social media Facebook (Meta)* and believe it to be an important source of information.

Specialists from the Internet resource «Rhythm of Eurasia» provide the key narratives of anti-Russian propaganda, which the West tries to imbed into the minds of Armenians:

  • Russia is unreliable ally; it always betrayed and will betray Armenia;
  • during the recent war in Karabakh, Russia, just like 100 years ago, got into cahoots with Azerbaijan and Turkey against Armenia. [8]

Against the background of all this, the demonstrative speech by Nikol Pashinyan at the CSTO event claiming to develop new «Road Maps», to «protect Armenia» (even though all the rules and  step-by-step strategy have been defined back in 2020 by the normative framework) look not just provocative, but as a purposeful attempt to stir up negative emotions in the Armenian society towards the Russian Federation in accordance to the above-described narratives of Western propaganda.

Another exhibitory fact is that such actions are taking place against the background of permanent contacts of the Armenian ruling coterie with representatives of Western political, military and intelligence circles, which are currently on the war-path with the Russian Federation in the territory of Ukraine implementing aggressive economic sanctions and producing political antagonism at various international platforms.

To counteract Russia in the South Caucasus and many other regions, the collective West is using the defamation and stigmatization tools resembling the Nazi propaganda formula: «the bigger the lie, the more it will be believed». In this connection we may remember the recent absolutely false statements by Emmanuel Macron, the President of France, who was on the air of France 2 TV channel and blamed Russia for «aggravating the situation at the Armenian-Azerbaijanian border with the purpose to destabilize the situation in the Caucasus and beyond». Evidently, in this case we can observe purposeful misinformation of the global public, a rotten propaganda trick, when thanks to the French leader Moscow instead of the main stakeholder and guarantor of the peaceful settlement in the South Caucasus is presented as an aggressor and war-monger.

Conclusion

It is obvious that the objective of the West is not to «save Armenia», even though some nave political players in Yerevan think so. Russia and its CSTO allies will be responding very hard to the threats of their interests in the South Caucasus with the objective to settle the regional conflict without external actors and based on the already developed normative framework.

The results of the extraordinary CSTO session reveal the lack of prospects for the attempt to substitute the steady progress along the lines of the agreed peaceful settlement Road Map with emotional statements of Yerevan and its vagaries. Azerbaijan is a strategically important partner and ally for Russia (the respective Declaration about allys interaction was signed on 22 February 2022) and for other CSO countries, respectively, CSTO will be assisting in searching for political and diplomatic debottlenecking of the issues between Baku and Yerevan.

The Federal Financial Monitoring Service of Russia included Meta Corporation into the list of terrorists and extremists, its activity, as well as the activity of social media Facebook and Instagram are prohibited in the territory of the Russian Federation.

1. Collective Security Treaty Organization, 28.10.2022. https://odkb-csto.org/news/news_odkb/vneocherednaya-sessiya-soveta-kollektivnoy-bezopasnosti-odkb-proydet-28-oktyabrya-2022-goda/#loaded

2. News channel No. 1, 28.10.2022. https://www.1lurer.am/ru/2022/10/28/---------/822655

3. The President of the Republic of Belarus. Participation in the extraordinary session of the CSTO Collective Security Council, 28.10.2022. https://president.gov.by/ru/events/uchastie-vo-vneocherednoy-sessii-soveta-kollektivnoy-bezopasnosti-odkb-1666952783

4. Cordial agreement: Putin listed the terms of peace between Baku and Yerevan. Izvestia, 28.10.2022. https://iz.ru/1417517/alena-nefedova/dogovor-po-dusham-putin-nazval-usloviia-mira-mezhdu-baku-i-erevanom

5. They talked about the importance of the EU civil mission to Armenia. Krasnaya Vesna Information Agency. 28.10.2022. https://rossaprimavera.ru/news/293ed7f5

6. Action for exiting CSTO in Yerevan. TASS, 18.09.2022. https://tass.ru/mezhdunarodnaya-panorama/15789053

7. Rhythm of Eurasia. 15% of Armenian citizens included Russia in top 3 threats for their country. Why? 03.02.2022. https://www.ritmeurasia.org/news--2022-02-03--15-zhitelej-armenii-vkljuchili-rossiju-v-top-3-ugroz-strany.-pochemu-58473

8. It is an American survey, but it reminds of Russian soft power. Rhythm of Eurasia, 12.02.2022. https://www.ritmeurasia.org/news--2022-02-12--armenija-socopros-amerikanskij-a-napominaet-o-rossijskoj-mjagkoj-sile-58595