On November 2, in the National Assembly the visiting session of the Standing Commission of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Parliamentary Assembly on Political Affairs and International Cooperation took place.
The RA President Alen Simonyan opened the meeting of the session. Welcoming the participants of the session Alen Simonyan particularly noted: “In the last years I have been trusted the chairmanship of the Commission, and I document that the joint work has been dynamic and constructive. The activities of the Commission have received positive dynamics in completing the agenda items for the CSTO Member States, which is very important for preservation of security and parliamentary open communication.”
The RA NA President stressed that the Armenian delegation actively and consistently works in the Standing Commission and gives expertise assessments to the documents. Thanking the participants for the joint work, ne mentioned that the RA National Assembly nominated Hakob Arshakyan, Vice President of the National Assembly to the post of the Chairman of the Standing Commission of the CSTO Parliamentary Assembly, expressing hope that the attendees will defend his proposal.
“I am sure that the new Chairman of the Commission also will work in the spirit of the traditions of the Standing Commission approved during the decades for the benefit of the development of the parliamentary dialogue and for the sake of our peoples,” the RA NA President concluded.
After approving the session agenda, the items of the election for the Committee Chairman and his Deputy were discussed. The RA NA Vice President Hakob Arshakyan was elected Committee Chairman for three years, and the Deputy Chairman – the First Deputy Chairman of the RA FA State Duma Committee on International Affairs Dmitri Novikov.
Hakob Arshakyan gave a speech on the implementation of the priorities of the Chairmanship of the Republic of Armenia in the organization. First of all, the NA Vice President thanked the attendees for the trust and assistance shown towards him in the election of the Commission Chairman.
“Our common problem is to work out means on facing challenges and threats in the international security, as well as the creation of the conditions for ensuring the parliamentary cooperation in the field of foreign policy and security.
Hakob Arshakyan touched upon in detail the progress of the implementation of the priorities of the RA Chairmanship to the CSTO. It was noted that assuming the Chairmanship, Armenia had a problem of modernization of response mechanisms of the prior crisis situations, monitoring, forecast and prevention of crisis situations. In this context, Hakob Arshakyan reminded that at the beginning of the year in Kazakhstan the successfully and operatively implemented peacekeeping action showed that the CSTO is an able organization. According to him, in this case the CSTO all states displayed unity and consolidation, which should be also expressed towards any other ally state organization.
Hakob Arshakyan documented that Armenia attaches special attention to deepening foreign policy coordination and mutual support to the elaboration of the coordinated approaches on the international and regional problems. Another priority of the Republic of Armenia is the further development of the CSTO troops (Collective troops). The NA Deputy Speaker underlined the role of the parliamentary cooperation of the Organization. According to him, there is need of the coordination of the legislative work.
As Hakob Arshakyan assessed, the preservation of peace and ensuring of the international and regional security are the most urgent problems for the whole mankind. “In the background of the constructive intention of Armenia to normalize the relations with Azerbaijan the provocative actions and the bellicose announcements of Baku do not stop, where the threats of force use are replaced by openly aggressive intentions against the sovereign, internationally recognized territory of the Republic of Armenia. The military aggression of Azerbaijan in September is a gross violation of territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Armenia, ignoring of the fundamental norms of international law with the most unpredictable large-scale consequences damaging the regional security,” he added.
In connection with the created situation the Republic of Armenia applied to the CSTO, in accordance with the provisions of Article 4 of the Collective Security Treaty, including with the request of showing military aid. In response, an extraordinary meeting of the Collective Security Council was convened, after which mission was sent to Armenia to control and to study the situation on the spot.
Touching upon the meeting of the RA Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, the RF President Vladimir Putin and the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, held in Sochi on October 31, he noted that the adopted joint statement confirms the commitment of the maintenance of all agreements for the benefit of ensuring the comprehensive settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani relations, peace, stability, security and the sustainable economic development of the South Caucasus. The sides agreed to make additional efforts aimed at the urgent solution of the existing problems, including the humanitarian ones.
To Hakob Arshakyan’s conviction, in the context of preventing the new offenses the targeted and distinct response of the international colleagues to the provocative statements made by Baku is reserved special role. “In this context we call on our colleagues of the CSTO Parliamentary Assembly to distinctly and concretely respond to the aggression of Azerbaijan, which damages the peace and security in the South Caucasus. By the way, a number of international partners of Armenia, which are not CSTO members, did it. Effective steps are necessary to support the efforts of the world community
to prevent such actions, as well as the unreserved and complete withdrawal of the armed forces of Azerbaijan from the territory of the Republic of Armenia,” the NA Vice President said.
In his speech the Chair of the NA Standing Committee on Defense and Security Andranik Kocharyan spoke about the military-political situation created in the Caucasian Region of the CSTO collective security. According to him, the military-political situation in the South Caucasus is described by the high potential of the conflicts and the demonstrative activeness of Azerbaijan with the absolute support of Turkey for increasing its influence in the region and imposing pressure on Armenia.
The speaker presented the details of the Azerbaijani aggression of September 13, as a consequence of which the Armenian side has victims, wounded, the civilians suffered, the civilian infrastructure was damaged. It has been underlined that Azerbaijan openly announces about his ambitions towards the sovereign territory of Armenia and is ready to continue the military actions. According to Andranik Kocharyan, the decision on the monitoring of the situation of the extraordinary meeting of the Collective Security Council, when there is the fact of aggression against a member state, is absolutely not the result, which was expected from the Organization. To him, there is an impression, the Caucasian region, more precisely, the territory of Armenia, is of no equal strategic importance for the CSTO. In this context, Andranik Kocharyan reminded the peacekeeping action successfully carried out in Kazakhstan.
The MP proposed the attendees to make a condemning political statement in the CSTO format, noting that Azerbaijan is the one violating the trilateral statement, as well as the ceasefire and calling that country an aggressor. He highlighted the adoption of the decision on the necessity of undertaking measures in compliance with Article 4 of the Treaty at the meeting of the Collective Security Council and providing urgent military-technical assistance to Armenia. Andranik Kocharyan considered necessary the provision of the humanitarian aid by the CSTO and the return of all prisoners of war and forcibly detained other persons.
The Chair of the RA NA Standing Committee on Foreign Relations Eduard Aghajanyan presented information about the meeting of cooperation of the heads of the parliamentary delegations of the CSTO Member States (June 28, 2022 in the video conference format) at the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in the 29th Annual Session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (July 2-6, 2022, Birmingham) and the results of the work of the parliamentary delegations of the CSTO Member States.
As a Head of the delegation of the National Assembly of Armenia, he noted that the RA National Assembly presented some proposals to the Committees on Political Affairs and Security and on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions, which however were rejected. One of them related to the problem of prisoners of war, which has not been solved from November 9, 2020, though there is a provision in the trilateral statement. “Different international organizations repeatedly referred to it, and we don’t see a reason that the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly will avoid relating to this topic,” Eduard Aghajanyan opined.
The next item referred to the preservation of the cultural heritage, the activity of the OSCE Minsk Group and its importance.
As the rapporteur assessed, these proposals were directed to draw the attention of the international community and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly to the unsolved problems. The fact of concentrating the attention of the OSCE PA only on the Russian-Ukrainian conflict was considered unacceptable.
“We believe that only with joint efforts the Parliamentary Assembly will strengthen its role as a leading platform for the constructive dialogue and discussion of the most urgent problems of security.
The next agenda items referred to the ratification of the signed international treaties, the programmes regarding the electoral processes in the member states and the improvement of the legislation in the sphere of ensuring defense of sovereignty, the regulation of a number of procedural issues and the organizational problems.
The next session of the Commission will take place in spring of 2023.