The government of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan is steadily distancing itself from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a Russia-led military bloc operating in the region.
It’s important to note that this development is taking place amid the recent escalation in the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region. Azerbaijani forces have increased their activity including shelling of Armenian positions in the area using the current complicated political situation inside Armenia and a series of diplomatic problems faced by the Pashinyan government. In turn, Armenia has not even requested a CSTO assistance in this situation as it’s admitted by the Armenian Foriegn Minister.
Pashinyan, who gained power in Armenia thanks to the complicated politcal and social situation there, has always been a representative of pro-Western powers. Thus, his government and a foreign policy of his government are heavily impacted by Western “advisers”. For example, on July 27, Armenian authorities temporarily detained Colonel General Yuri Khachaturov, CSTO secretary general and former Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Armenia. He was detained in connection with casualties during 2008 protests in the country, but later released.
This move was reportedly promoted by Arsen Haratian, then an foreign policy adviser of Pashinyan. It’s interesting to note that Haratian is deeply linked to the US-led bloc. His wife is working in a US embassy in Georgia. At the same time, a key adviser of the Armenian Prime Minister is Arsen Gasparyan, who is a US citizen.
Thus, under a “soft pressure” from the US, the current Armenian government is forced to decrease its cooperation with the CSTO thus losing an opportunity to receive support from CSTO member states in case of a large-scale military escalation in the Nagorno Karabakh region.