CSTO Will Intervene Only if ‘Territory of Armenia’ is Attacked

CSTO Secretary-General Stanislav Zas
CSTO Secretary-General Stanislav Zas

CSTO Secretary-General Stanislav Zas

The Collective Security Treaty Organization, which Armenia is a member of, will provide Armenia with military assistance in case of a real threat to the country’s territorial integrity, said the the group’s Secretary General Stanislav Zas on Thursday.

Zas’ statement, which echoed similar remarks made by Russian President Vladimir Putin, suggests that the six-member security bloc will not act on its mandate unless Azerbaijan strikes at Armenian proper. Since Artsakh is not recognized as being part of Armenia, then Yerevan will not receive help from its allies.

“When real threats are created for any CSTO member country’s security, stability, sovereignty and territorial integrity, then this country is entitled to apply to the CSTO. Thus the inter-state, including emergency consultations mechanisms are activated and the necessary help or assistance is provided to that country in accordance to its request,” Zas said.

Another scenario for CSTO intervention, he said, is in the event of a military attack.

“Aggression against one member state of the CSTO is considered to be an attack on all members, and in that event, based on an application of the country that is under attack the CSTO will provide any kind of assistance, including military,” the CSTO head said. “In such cases the CSTO response regime is initiated.”

However, Armenia’s territory was attacked in July, when Azerbaijan launched a brazen attack on civilian and military targets in the Tavush Province. Last week, the Azerbaijani forces deployed drones on the Armenia’s sovereign territory. Armenia’s Defense Ministry also reported that Turkey’s F-16 plane downed an Armenian fighter jet in Armenia’s airspace over Vardenis.

Zas, however, expressed concern on Thursday about the reported participation of Syrian mercenaries in the fighting against Artsakh, saying that it poses a “challenge” to the Russian-led military alliance.

“It’s hard for me now to judge the scale and organization of militants’ transfer to the Karabakh conflict zone,” CSTO Secretary General Stanislav Zas told RT. “In all likelihood, it is the case, and militants and mercenaries emerge there.”

“Of course it does not help to normalize relations. It poses a certain challenge to the organization,” Zas said in remarks cited by the TASS news agency.

Russia has always fulfilled, is fulfilling and will continue to fulfill all its obligations to Armenia within the mandates of the CSTO, Putin said in an interview on the Russia-1 television channel on Wednesday.

“As you know, Armenia is a member of the CSTO, and we have certain obligations to Armenia within the framework of this treaty. However, the military operations, which are still ongoing, are not taking place on the territory of Armenia,” Putin said.

“As for Russia’s fulfillment of its obligations within the confines of that treaty, we have always fulfilled, are fulfilling and will continue to fulfill our obligations. As you know, we are in constant, working contact with the Prime Minister of Armenia, and Armenia’s leadership does not have any questions regarding the quality of Russia’s fulfillment of its allied obligations,” Putin said.

In an interview with AFP on Tuesday, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said that he and his government were confident that Russia would fulfill its obligations under the CSTO mandates.

Putin said the events taking place in Artsakh are of a tragic nature, expressing his concern over the ongoing developments.

“People living in Azerbaijan, Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh are not strangers to us. It’s enough to state that nearly 2 million Azerbaijanis and, according to our calculations, more than 2 million Armenians live in Russia. Many Russian citizens have close, friendly and even kinship ties in both republics,” Putin said in the interview with the Russia-1 television channel.

Putin expressed hope that the conflict will end soon. “Apparently, this is still a long way off, but we and I want to say this again, we urge a ceasefire. This must be done as quickly as possible,” he added.

During a press briefing on Thursday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharove said that Moscow continues its consultations aimed at convening a meeting between the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Official Yerevan announced on Wednesday that Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan will travel to Moscow on Monday for a previously scheduled official visit. The foreign ministry said that Mnatskanyan would not meet his Azerbaijani counterpart, Jeyhun Bayramov, when Azerbaijan is continuing its military attacks on Artsakh. The Kremlin confirmed Mnatskanyan’s scheduled visit, as well as a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Zakharova added that Russia actively continues mediations efforts for an immediate cease fire in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict zone and the resumption of the peace process both at the national level and on the sidelines of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairmanship.

“Different action plans are being developed, one of which is that our side has offered to provide the platform of Moscow for a meeting between the Foreign Ministers of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan with the participation of the Minsk Group Co-chairs. Consultations over the time for the possible meeting are underway,’’ Zakharova said referencing an announcement by the presidents of the OSCE Minsk Group chairing countries, the United States, Russia and France.

Bayramov was scheduled to meet with the Minsk Group co-chairmen on Thursday in Geneva.


Discussion Policy

Comments are welcomed and encouraged. Though you are fully responsible for the content you post, comments that include profanity, personal attacks or other inappropriate material will not be permitted. Asbarez reserves the right to block users who violate any of our posting standards and policies.


  1. hye said:

    Considering that CSTO agreement was signed with a corrupt and illegitimate leader of Armenia, CSTO agreement is a voidable contract.
    So Armenians didn’t fight with Russia in Syria against terrorist, and Russia decided to bring the war to Armenia. Russia knows that Armenians could fight with dedication(example of that is 600,000 participants out of 1-1.2 mil population of Armenia during WW2(and I haven’t seen seen any article published by Asbarez or any other Armenian newspaper to criticize this kind of policy that Russia uses on Armenians)), so he brought the war here.

  2. hye said:

    10/08/2020 between 19;30-21;20 seven unmanned aircrafts were destroyed in Vardenis region. What do you say to that CSTO. Vardenis is part of Armenia for the record. Biggest enemy of Armenia is Russia and Turkey

  3. Ashot said:

    With Turkey increasingly involved, the unwillingness of Russia to intervene, even as peacekeepers, is directly a result of the antagonism Pashinyan and his cronies have shown toward Russia since they came to power.

    Let’s not forget that one of the first things Pashinyan did upon coming to power is arrest the Secretary of the CSTO, Yuri Khachaturov, an Armenian. Imagine if Germany had arrested the Secretary of NATO on trumped up corruption charges. How would that play out for Germany-US relations?

    And that is just one example of Pashinyan’s irresponsible attitude toward Russia and Putin. There are too many examples to list here.

    Russia is going to let Pashinyan’s irresponsible stance against Russia and its interest play itself out. Each of the former Soviet republics that has been antagonistic towards Russia has lost territories since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. It seems as though it is Armenia’s turn, unless Pashinyan changes course.

  4. Ani said:

    CTSO members seem to have a hard time reading maps.

    Why does it not surprise me?


    Mr Secretary-General Stanislav Zas:

    What do you think is happening. Don’t you have your map of the borders? Of course you do. I’m referring to your following cop-out comment of “The Collective Security Treaty Organization, which Armenia is a member of, will provide Armenia with military assistance in case of a real threat to the country’s territorial integrity, said the the group’s Secretary General Stanislav Zas on Thursday”
    What do you think is being attacked? Which cities in Armenia are being bombed by air with the help of Turkey’s air force, long range Howitzer guns, suicide and regular drones, GRAD missiles ” Grad is a Soviet truck-mounted 122 mm multiple rocket launcher”. I’m sure you know what those are. In case you claim don’t know what they are, you have no business being in that position . Another ridiculous comment you made is “Another scenario for CSTO intervention, he said, is in the event of a military attack”. Do you think all those attacks are for hiking purposes. I understand your response by now knowing your ethnic background. This is by no means to label all Ukrainians the same way, but in 1990s we’ve had Ukrainian hired fighters fighting on Azeri side as mercenaries.

  6. Raffi said:

    This is BS., ”CSTO Will Intervene Only if ‘Territory of Armenia’ is Attacked” .. than why the hell they kept saying who attacks first will lose and will pay high price for starting the attack?

  7. Artin said:

    Its time for us to dump Russia and move towards the west. This is abundantly clear. We have sacrificed so much for the supposed “protection” Russia would offer us when something like this happened and they did nothing. Iran and Serbia were really a greater help. Dump Russia. Besides, its the damn Russians that gave away most of our historic homeland to the turks and created Azerbaijan.

    Im still trying to find out, did we lose or gain territory in this conflict? There is a lot of contradictory information out there.