Working visit of President Serzh Sargsyan to the Russian Federation
President Serzh Sargsyan, who is Russia on a working visit, today in Moscow, participated at the session of the Collective Security Council of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).
At the meeting of the Heads of the CSTO member states, which was first conducted in the narrow and then in the extended format with the participation of the delegations, the Secretary-General of the CSTO Nikolay Bordjuza presented information on the activities of the CSTO and documents to be signed shortly. Afterwards, the participants of the meeting along with other agenda items discussed also tendencies in the international situation, means aimed at the improvement of the collective security system, development of the CSTO military component up to 2020, and issues related to the main directions of improvement of the collective response system in the emergency situations.
At the meeting in the extended format, President Serzh Sargsyan in his statement first expressed thanks to the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin for the excellent organization of the CSTO session in Moscow, congratulated the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbaev with the successful completion of the chairmanship in this anniversary year and his works aimed at the strengthening of the CSTO and then wished success to the Republic of Kyrgyzstan, which assumed chairmanship of the CSTO, and its President.
According to the President of Armenia, experience related to the cooperation among the countries in the framework of the CSTO shows that the strategic choice made by these countries twenty years ago was correct and justified. The Organization is developing consistently its structure for the efficient response to the existing threats.
“This year, the efforts of the Organization have been focused on three main directions: strengthening of the CSTO military potential, better coordination in the area of foreign policy and expanded cooperation for the fight against terrorism, drug trafficking, and illegal migration.
In September, we conducted successfully the Cooperation-2012 military exercises in Armenia. The preliminary works and the exercises themselves clearly showed the ability of our countries to solve diverse and different problems, engaging military units, detachments of military police, special and emergency situation forces.
During the exercises in Armenia, the International Committee of Red Cross for the first time brought its full participation to the military exercises conducted in the CSTO format. These exercises, as well as the subsequent Frontier-2012 exercises and the Unbreakable Brotherhood-2012 military exercises – the first joint exercises for the CSTO peacekeeping contingent, have made a significant contribution to the compatibility of our armed forces and enhancement of our Organization’s development potential.
I would like to underscore in particular efforts of the Secretariat which resulted in the signing of the Protocol with the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operation. I am confident that participation of our peacekeeping contingent in the major international missions will truly become a threshold for their perfection. It will also significantly raise the international repute of our Organization,” President Serzh Sargsyan told the participants of the session.
The President of Armenia spoke also about regional issues and challenges, explosive situation in the Middle East, and presented positions of our country.
“Analysis of the situation in the vicinity of the CSTO zone of responsibility inspires no optimism. It is about Afghanistan, the rising tension around Iran, and situation in Syria. The ongoing armed confrontation in that country is destabilizing the entire Middle East region.
There is a large Armenian community in Syria. They are children and grandchildren of those who had miraculously escaped the Genocide in the Ottoman Empire. Tens of thousands of Armenians became indivisible part of the Syrian society, bringing their input to the development and strengthening of the country. Over six thousand Syrian Armenians have already arrived to Armenia, and we anticipated the increase of the influx. We will help the Syrian Armenians in Aleppo as well as in Yerevan. Armenia maintains its position of the immediate ending of the bloodshed and a peaceful resolution of all issues by the Syrians themselves,” the President of Armenia said.
Serzh Sargsyan spoke also about relations with Iran, development of economic cooperation in the framework of which several weeks ago the parties launched the construction of a powerful hydropower station on the Armenian-Iranian border.
Speaking about the challenges existing in the South Caucasus, the President of Armenia underscored that Azerbaijan’s destructive position on the resolution of the NK conflict remains the greatest challenge to the regional security. “It is manifested in the reluctance or inability of the Azerbaijani authorities to follow the logic of the negotiation process, which is presented explicitly in the numerous statements by the Presidents of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair states - Russia, US and France. Even presumably reached agreements, such as creation of the mechanism for the investigation of border incidents and withdrawal of the snipers from the line of contact are being torpedoed by official Baku.
We are confident that the only way to solve the existing conflicts is through negotiations and that way has no alternatives. We depart from the point that after the parties established ceasefire, which has been maintained for the last 18 years, the resumption of military actions and just the threat of resumption constitute a blatant violation of the international norms and principles; it is the most shortsighted route towards a new wave of violence, hatred, and bloodshed. Problems are not solved that way, rather they become even more complex.
The Azeri propaganda brings up an entire generation in the atmosphere of xenophobia and intolerance. My words are proved by the creation of the image of a hero from a cowardly and paltry murderer who has been extradited by the Hungarian authorities to Baku. He was immediately pardoned, expeditiously awarded a new military rank and paid salary for all years spent in the Hungarian prison. Thus, murder of an Armenian officer is not a crime in Azerbaijan, and this is happening in the 21st century, in the country which is a member to the UN Security Council.
Azerbaijan carries on with the bellicose policy. It instigates the arms race in the region and broadcasts animosity. The Azeri President is stating unequivocally that Armenians all over the world are Azerbaijan’s enemies while Yerevan, which will be celebrating its 2800 anniversary very soon, is “ancient Azeri land”. He states that violations of the ceasefire regime are normal, since the war is not over yet, conveniently forgetting who asked for and first signed the ceasefire agreement,” President Serzh Sargsyan said in his statement.
Serzh Sargsyan spoke also about the importance of the efforts aimed at the coordination of the positions of the CSTO member states with regard to the vital interests on the foreign policy issues, holding consultations regarding those issues.
“To provide for the efficient and comprehensive activities of the Organization, we need to maintain the fundamental principles which are contained in our Minsk statement; it states that strategic relations in the framework of the CSTO have priority over the contacts with other countries which are not parties to the Treaty,” President Sargsyan said at the extended meeting of the Heads of the CSTO member states.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Serzh Sargsyan expressed thanks to Nikolay Bordjuza for his efficient works as Secretary General of the Organization and noted that his persistent efforts aimed at the development of the CSTO and improvement of the works of the Secretariat are visible to everyone and have undoubtedly yielded results. Serzh Sargsyan stated that Armenia has endorsed the proposal of the Russian side to extend authorities of Nikolay Bordjuza as Secretary General of the CSTO.
President Serzh Sargsyan, who is the Russian Federation on a working visit, on 19 December in Moscow, met with the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.
The Presidents of the two countries discussed issues pertinent to the Armenian-Russian strategic partnership and cooperation in a number of areas which present mutual interest.