CSTO: Situation In Armenia’s South Is A “Border Incident,” Not Falling Under The CSTO’s Provision On Collective Defense.

The aggravation of the situation in the south of Armenia in connection with the establishment of a new border with Azerbaijan is a “border incident” and does not fall under the provisions of the CSTO charter on collective defense, said The CSTO Secretary General Stanislav Zas, reports TASS.

“You have to understand that the potential of the CSTO 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 favor of solving it peacefully,” said CSTO Secretary General Stanislav Zas.

According to Zas, there is no escalation of the conflict. “Actually, we cannot speak about any escalation of the situation there. This is already good, this is already a result. There is a lot of work ahead on the border issue, the resolution of all these controversial issues, but they need to be resolved at the negotiating table” Zas pointed out.

Zas also informed that after the May appeal of Armenia, the organization held consultations on the situation in the border regions of the country. “Such consultations were held at the level of defense ministers, secretaries of security councils, and I contacted both the Armenian foreign minister and the defense 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.

Stanislav Zas assured that the CSTO is constantly monitoring the situation in the south of Armenia. “The decision to form a monitoring group was not made, although, of course, the situation is being monitored,” said CSTO Secretary General, adding “the organization receives the necessary information from many sources, including the Armenian side and Russian peacekeepers”

The situation in border areas of Armenia’s Syunik and Gegharkunik provinces escalated after Azerbaijani troops infringed into the sovereign territory of Armenia and tried to carry out engineering work on May 12. This was followed by the Armenian Defense Ministry reporting that Azerbaijani armed forces, in order to “adjust the border,” tried to carry out “engineering works” in one of the border regions and went deep into the Armenian territory. Since then, the parties have periodically reported incidents.

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