November 12, 2018 - 16:14 AMT
Belarus unsure if Armenia can juggle EAEU, CSTO chairmanships

Minsk has three candidates for the post of the CSTO Secretary General, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said at a meeting with ambassador of Azerbaijan to Belarus Latif Gandilov on Monday, November 12.

The CSTO Collective Security Council relieved Armenia’s Yuri Khachaturov of his duties as the organization’s secretary general in late October. On July 26, Armenia’s Special Investigative Service accused Khachaturov of overthrowing the constitutional order in 2008 and requested his arrest. Khachaturov, who was the Commander of the Armenian Armed Forces’ Yerevan Garrison back in 2008, pleaded not guilty. On July 28, the Yerevan City Court of General Jurisdiction released him on his own recognizance and a bail of about $10,000.

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said at a session of the Collective Security Council of the Collective Security Treaty Organization on November 7 that Minsk should appoint the next Secretary General of the organization.

Nazarbayev told reporters after the session that all the heads of CSTO member states have said that a representative of Belarus should be the Secretary General.

"The next country in alphabetical order is Belarus, and we must be ready to name candidates," Lukashenko said,

"I have three candidates right now, which I can propose for the post of the Secretary General of the CSTO."

According to him, "of course, there were a lot of options" when it came to appointing a new chief of the organization.

"But this does not mean we have infringed Armenia, or that someone has won and someone has lost there," Lukashenko was quoted as saying.

"Armenia heads the EAEU (Eurasian Economic Union) and the CSTO, a very big burden on a transition economy.

"Can Armenia deal with that?"