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Rifts over Karabakh at CSTO summit to have no immediate impact on situation — experts

Andrey Kortunov believes that in order to prevent further aggravation of the situation, the main task now is to complete the border delimitation and demarcation process

MOSCOW, November 24. /TASS/. The CSTO summit highlighted a certain divergence in the positions of the organization's member-states on issues related to the conflict between Yerevan and Baku, but the results of the conference will have no immediate impact on the situation in the region, polled experts told TASS on Thursday.

The outcome of the summit, which, due to Armenia’s stance, failed to sign two documents, makes one stop to think about how interaction between the member-countries will proceed in the future, the board chairman of the Foundation for the Development and Support of the Valdai International Discussion Club, Andrey Bystritsky, believes. At the same time, he is certain that "nothing very dramatic has happened yet."

"Now it's up to the parties to the conflict to make the next moves. The results of the summit will not make themselves felt for now. We have before us a complex, multi-vector composition, in which the CSTO summit is just one of the many elements. It’s part of a far larger, global puzzle."

The General Director of the Russian International Affairs Council, Andrey Kortunov, has described the summit’s outcome as quite predictable. "It is clear that the Armenian side would like to have more concrete and large-scale support from the organization’s members in the conflict situation between Yerevan and Baku. Likewise, it is clear that the rest of the CSTO member-countries were unprepared for any radical solutions and confined themselves to recognizing the need for solving all problems through talks. Lastly, Armenia and the other participants in the summit have certain disagreements in their vision of the problems on the agenda," Kortunov said.

He recalled that the leaders of the CSTO countries spoke mostly about the need for resolving demarcation and delimitation problems on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, while Yerevan argued the focus should be on what it regards as Azerbaijan’s direct aggression on the territory of Armenia.

"Clearly there are certain allied obligations, but at the same time, no one wishes to quarrel with Baku. Therefore, the outcome of the summit was probably predictable and clear for all its participants," he stressed.

Kortunov believes that in order to prevent further aggravation of the situation, the main task now is to complete the border delimitation and demarcation process.

"As for the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, in all likelihood it will have to be put on the back burner," the expert believes. "Russian peacekeepers are in place. Their mandate will expire in three years from now. There will be enough time to defuse tensions and possibly, clinch some sort of agreement."

CSTO summit

On Wednesday, November 23, the CSTO summit was held in Yerevan. Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan refused to put his signature on the draft Declaration of the CSTO CSC on joint measures to provide assistance to the Republic of Armenia, as well as the resolution on CSTO actions during the September 13 escalation of tensions on the border with Azerbaijan. Pashinyan argued that the declaration was half-baked and lacked a "clear political assessment of the situation." At the same time, he acknowledged that the negotiations held within the Council of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) were honest, positive and open.

Shortly after midnight on September 13, the Armenian Defense Ministry said there had been shellings of several communities by the Azerbaijani military. Baku explained it was a response to provocations by Yerevan. Armenia’s Security Council met in an urgent session to decide to seek help from Russia in order to invoke the provisions of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, as well as the CSTO and the UN Security Council.