The contradictions in Ruissia's policy in the South Caucasus emerged again today during a meeting of the parliamentary wing of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO).
At a meeting of the Defence and Security Committee of the CSTO Parliamentary Assembly Armenian MPs protested against the sale of large quantities of arms from Russia to Azerbaijan. Armenia is a military ally of Russia within the CSTO, whilst Azerbaijan is not. Although the meeting is being held in closed format the issue became public.The Chairman of the Standing Committee on Defense and Security of the CSTO Parliamentary Assembly Anatoly Vyborny said that Russia, as a CSTO member, is fully fulfilling its obligations towards other countries and that Russia was not breaking any agreement by selling arms to Azerbaijan.
Vyborny said the issue of arms sale to Azerbaijan had been discussed at the meeting.
"We will take into account your concerns. The fact that we are holding a meeting in Armenia shows that we are concerned over the ongoing developments in the region. Russia is doing everything possible to avoid threats from any country. All CSTO members should act solely with legality," Armenian media quoted Vyborno as saying.
Commonspace.eu political editor said that "there are obvious contradictions in Russia being on the one hand a co-Chair of the Minsk process that is trying to find a peaceful solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and Russia's supply of huge quantities of arms to both sides in the conflict. Russia has also not been able to reconcile its position as an arms supplier to both sides with that of being a military ally of Armenia. These contradicitons in the Russian position continue to emerge regularly and the Kremlin does not seem to have found a way iof dealing with them. This is why the Russian position often looks as if it is trying to manage the Karbakh conflict rather than solve it. As diplomats representing the three co-Chair countries of the OSCE Minsk Group prepare to visit the region in another effort to solve the conflict more clarity by Russia has become necessary."
It is likely that opposition parties will rally around one of the leaders of the protest movement, although it is understood that apart from the candidacy of Nikol Pashinyan other options are being considered.
Nikol Pashinyyan, the leader of street protests who earlier forced the resignation of prime minister Serzh Sargsyan is insisting that a new prime minister is appointed who is not a member of the ruling Republican Party, to pave the way for early elections