July 3, 2021 - 12:55 AMT
CSTO chief describes Azerbaijan's incursion into Armenia as "border incident"

The escalation of the situation in the south of Armenia is a "border incident" which does not fall under the provisions of the CSTO charter on collective defense, CSTO Secretary General Stanislav Zas told reporters, according to RIA Novosti.

The Collective Security Treaty Organization is a military alliance in Eurasia, of which Armenia is a member. The CSTO was contacted days after the Azerbaijani forces violated Armenia’s border in several sections in the provinces of Syunik and Gegharkunik on May 12 and 13. The Azeri military is still refusing to withdraw their troops from the area. One Armenian serviceman was killed in Azerbaijan’s shooting on May 25, six troops were captured on May 27, although four of them have already returned home.

“You have to understand that the potential of the CSTO is used only in the event of an aggression, an attack (on one of the member countries - Ed). Here, in fact, we have a border incident. Thank God, there are no casualties, no shooting there. It's a border incident, it must be resolved, and we are in favor of resolving it peacefully," Zas said, although one Armenian soldier was in fact killed by the Azerbaijani military.

The CSTO Secretary General maintained that there is no escalation of the conflict.

"There is a lot of work ahead specifically on the border issue, the resolution of all these controversial issues, but they need to be resolved at the negotiating table," Zas said.