Armenia is one of the most active members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) that is always ready for a compromise when the member-states fail to agree on certain issues, CSTO Secretary General Nikolay Bordyuzha told Tert.am. Tert.am was able to interview Bordyuzha on his most recent trip to Yerevan.
The interview reads as follows:
Tert.am: What is the purpose of your current visit to Armenia?
Nikolay Bordyuzha: Armenia is chairing the CSTO now, which means Armenia’s representatives are heading all the bodies in charge of CSTO ensuring management and development. The Armenian president is chairing the CSTO Council. I have arrived to inform the top officials of our work and projects, and of results of our work.
Moreover, we have finished agreeing on the plan to implement the presidential decisions approved by the CSTO Council in Dushanbe and Moscow. As CSTO chairman, President Serzh Sarkissian is to approve the plan. We have numerous issues to discuss and a number of interesting security projects. However, their implementation requires approval by Armenia’s leadership.
Tert.am: What specific projects are in question?
N.B.: First, we are seriously working on counter-terrorist measures. It is a broad range of measures we have to implement. Secondly, we are paying great attention to military cooperation – from reforming the activities of the Joint Staff to forming government bodies, organizing military exercises, improving combat training system, and ensuring compatibility of troops and liaison.
We are seriously working on the creation of a crisis response center, which means we have to prepare a legal framework for it activities. We also have to create a video conference system that would operate in all the member-states’ interests. All the issues have to be discussed and reported primarily to the Armenian president. We are speaking much of improving coordination of our foreign policies. In his speech, Sarkissian said that we are not always unanimous on foreign policy, failing to listen to one another and help one another when a critical situation develops. In this respect, we have to take steps to improve coordination of our foreign policies and mutual help.
We have discussed the problem with Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian. Furthermore, we have plans to improve the collective security system in emergencies. And the idea is that our Ministries for Emergency Situations be able to coordinate their potential in the case of man-caused or natural disasters. We have numerous projects, which require funding and approval. That is also why I have come to Armenia.
Tert.am: What’s your assessment of Armenia’s role in the CSTO? What are Armenia’s initiatives?
N.B.: Since Armenia is in a ‘neither-peace-no-war’ state, and with the situation surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh and its relations with its neighbors considered, it is always involved in a collective security system. And it relies on its partners in the case of any escalation. In this context, Armenia is proposing numerous measures that would strengthen all the member-states’ national security. So I consider Armenia is one of the most interested actors of the CSTO that is always ready for a compromise when all the member-states fail to agree on certain issues.
Each country is like a human being with its own national interests.
Even people do not always get on with one another. And countries, which have their own interests and positions that are often different, find it difficult to come to terms on certain issues, especially on such issues as security.
That is why we do not always succeed in agreeing our positions on certain sensitive subjects. Armenia is always actively seeking to unite the partners, ensure solidarity and mutual support.
Tert.am: In your opinion, what are the major threats and challenges facing the CSTO member-states?
N.B.: Terrorism is issue number one for us now. It implies Islamic fundamentalism, extremist terrorist organizations – and I am not speaking of Islamic ones alone. Some of them are Christian and orthodox. Each society is faced with such a threat, so terrorism is number one issue for us.
The second issue is Afghanistan. The situation there will have its impact on the central region.
The third issue is the Caucasus. We must never allow a frozen conflict develop into an active one.
Consequences are going to be disastrous for all the states – for Russian and for all the other regional states.
Our countries must aim their potential at a peaceful settlement of the conflict.
Fourthly, we are very concerned over military infrastructure being strengthened around our borders. I mean the borders of Russia and Belarus. Arms buildup is in progress in the Baltic States and in Poland. NATO and the United states are deploying their military bases and air defense systems. And it could cause a confrontation.
All the talks about someone seeking to capture Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia are Latvia are nonsense.
It is common knowledge that talks about Russia allegedly seeking to capture the Baltic States are nothing but attempts to extort money from partners, kind of racketeering. Well aware of that and they are affectedly responding.