Why Is Armenia Member of the EAEU and the CSTO?

After restart of Karabagh war (commonly referred to as the 4-day war), Armenian people’s perception on many issues suffered a drastic change. After being attacked by new cutting edge tanks of Russian production, the TOS-1A “Solntsepyok” system that burns the infantry alive, and the “Smerch” multiple rocket launchers prohibited by Dublin Convention, people began to raise their concerns about a number of issues which had previously seemed to be “taboos”. In particular, it refers to Russian-Armenian relations, the EAEU and the CSTO.

The EAEU’s Last Argument

In the recent years, it became obvious that Armenia’s membership in the EAEU causes more economic damage rather than economic benefit. It should be noted that in 2013 the Armenian side mentioned for several times that its membership in that union is aimed more at security of Armenia, rather than economy. However, the 4-day war in Artsakh (Armenian name for Nagorno Karabagh) showed that the EAEU does not solve any security issue.

First of all, it is worth reminding you that two of the members of EAEU, namely Belarus and Kazakhstan, had an obviously anti-Armenian position on the issue in question and supported Baku. Moreover, the Armenian Foreign Ministry even invited the ambassador of Belarus to Armenia to the ministry to demand explanation for Minsk’s statement on the conflict escalation. In the meantime, Kazakhstan announced that the meeting of EAEU prime ministers in Armenia is undesirable because of the war and that it would be more expedient to move the venue of the meeting to Moscow in order for the meeting not to be viewed as support to one of the conflict sides. Thus, this was simply a diplomatic step showing that the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan will not come to Armenia when military actions are being carried out against its friend Azerbaijan.

The Death of the CSTO

Apparently, the prime minister of Kazakhstan has forgotten that his country is member of the CSTO. And if he considers that Armenia is a military conflict side, then Kazakhstan should support Armenia by any means.

While Armenia’s de-jure military ally Kazakhstan’s prime minister decided not to come to Armenia because of the conflict, not less worrying was the behavior of Armenia’s military and strategic ally Russia’s prime minister.

In particular, Dmitri Medvedev decided to cut short his two-day visit to Yerevan, and spend the second day of his visit in Baku. This step, which significantly contradicts the diplomatic ethics, must have been very insulting for the Armenian authorities even if Russia was not Armenia’s ally.

But in this case, we deal not only with disrespectful attitude, but also with factual betrayal by the ally because it is obvious that Medvedev cuts short his visit to Yerevan for the same reason as the prime minister of Kazakhstan decides not to come to Armenia in order not to “insult” Azerbaijan.

To put it differently, the Russian prime minister did not hesitate to violate the diplomatic ethics so that his visit is not viewed as any kind of support to Armenia. Ironically, our main strategic ally does not spare any effort in NOT supporting Armenia… Even politically.

P.S. After all the aforementioned reflection, an important question comes to mind. Why should Armenia continue its membership in the CSTO and the EAEU?

Daniel Ioannisyan, Anna Pambukhchyan,
“Union of Informed Citizens”

Related Posts: