Despite the fact that Russia and Armenia are allies, despite the fact that this mission is completely ready, the Armenian side prefers to make an arrangement with the European Union (EU) in order to deploy a civilian monitoring mission on the border with Azerbaijan on a long-term basis. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced this during a press conference Wednesday.
"We have difficulties related to the situation in Armenia. When our Armenian friends were pushing the issue of the need for a CSTO mission on the border with Azerbaijan, to ensure some stability there. And during the summit in Yerevan, we reached an agreement on the document regarding the parameters of this mission. But it failed to be adopted because the Armenian colleagues began to insist that Azerbaijan should be strongly condemned in that document.
We explained that if it is about condemnation, rhetoric, expressing positions, then everyone is free to do what they want here. But if we want to send a CSTO mission, then this is not necessarily conditioned by some external signs, some statements—and moreover, harsh.
We are still willing to send a CSTO mission to the border of Armenia and Azerbaijan. However, despite the fact that we are allies, despite the fact that this mission is completely ready, the Armenian side prefers to make an arrangement with the European Union in order to deploy a civilian monitoring mission there—on a long-term basis.
Well, this is, in fact, the right of Armenia. But we must not forget that it’s about the border with Azerbaijan, and probably, if this mission is deployed without Azerbaijan's consent, it may be ineffective. Instead of strengthening confidence on the border, it can create additional tension," the Russian FM said.