An exclusive interview with the member of the Parliament, National Assembly of Armenia and Heritage Party Mr. Tevan J. Poghosyan
What effect may give the appointment of Armenian Defense Minister as the CSTO General Secretary?
Since January 2016 Armenia has assumed the CSTO chairmanship, based on its rotation policy. The next chair is Belarus, then Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and so one. The rotation starts with Armenia because it is determined in alphabetical order. Whose candidacy as a chairman Armenia will propose is still being discussed, and before it is declared officially, any opinion is just a conjecture. I hope that your agency is not one for promoting conjectures. Thus, let me paraphrase the question as the following: Would I like the Armenian Defense Minister to be the one proposed by Armenia? He is truly a strong and adequate candidate, but we have many of them in Armenia.
How do you treat the opinion that the appointment of the Armenian politician as the CSTO Head shall be compensated with strengthening of some other formats of Russian-Azerbaijani interaction in military and military-technical sphere?
Honestly, such an opinion sounds funny. Any country or organization has to act based on its interests. In this regard, rotation of the CSTO leadership among its members is in the interest of this organization, for the sake of fairness, collectivism and objectivity. I understand that CSTO is far from being a really collective security organization, and as of today, it has been ruled mainly by the Russian interests. This makes it rather nominal in terms of collectivism. The Russian-Azerbaijani relationships are based on the interests of these two countries. If the change in CSTO leadership after rotation should influence the Russian-Azerbaijani relationship, then what about the next rotation when, for example, Kazakhstan becomes the CSTO chair? Should Russia stop cooperating with Azerbaijan because Kazakhstan is the closest friend of Aliev and then it compensates for this rotation by tripling its “ally” relations with Armenia? Truly, this sounds very primitive. Russia will be developing its relationship with Azerbaijan to the level that its interests demand. Rotation in the CSTO will take place till the interests of CSTO are met. And let’s not forget that the world does not consist of Azerbaijan and CSTO only. There is always more than that and changes in other parts of the world could influence changes here as well.
What can be expected from the Russia's CIS chairing in 2017?
CIS is also a nominal organization that exists mainly on the paper. Russia will try to use this opportunity on paper for promoting its interests and will do so as much as it is in a position to do so. But to believe that nominal organizations can play a serious role in realpolitik is naive. Russia has many other issues to worry about.