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Armenia too deeply integrated within CIS to bid adieu for good, Belarusian expert says

Oleg Makarov also noted that Armenia's withdrawal from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) "would be a mistake"

SOCHI, October 3. /TASS/. Yerevan is an integral part of numerous economic and energy projects within the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) framework, which will effectively check the Armenian government from making any rash moves to reconsider its web of relationships with the CIS countries amid the recent developments in Karabakh, Belarusian Institute of Strategic Research Director Oleg Makarov told TASS.

The expert responded in the negative to a question on whether Yerevan could decide to reconsider its entire set of relationships with CIS countries against the background of developments in and around Karabakh. "It seems to me that no. These events are clearly military and political, and Yerevan is entrenched in many other economic, energy, trade projects and so on, for example, the North-South project where Yerevan also has its own interests. All of this will hold Yerevan back from making any sudden moves," he said on the sidelines of the 20th annual meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club in Sochi.

The analyst noted that Armenia withdrawing from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) "would be a mistake." "The CSTO, despite all the difficulties and snags that this organization has, is a structure with vast experience, which in the case of Kazakhstan (the mass unrest in Kazakhstan in January 2022, for which the country’s president invoked CSTO security guarantees for assistance in quelling - TASS) very effectively demonstrated its performance and efficiency," he added. "Now is not the time for sudden moves and sudden withdrawals. The trend is actually otherwise. This is a parallelism. When we talk about that, it is necessary to seek options for regional integration, not for isolation, this is probably, not about a military and political alliance but about economic unions," the expert added.

Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov noted that statements about Armenia’s potential withdrawal from the CSTO being heard from Yerevan represent the "sovereign choice" of the Armenian leadership. That said, however, the top Russian diplomat expressed hope that the centuries-old ties between Russia and Armenia would not be undermined.