The joint actions of Belarus and Russia within the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a post-Soviet security bloc, and the situation surrounding its chief Yuri Khachaturov were discussed during the recent meeting between the Russian and Belarusian presidents in Sochi, TASS reports.
"And then we switched at [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s suggestion to the CSTO issue and Khachaturov’s detention in Armenia. Our stance is clear. We proposed other candidates some time ago, but no one listened to us at that time," Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko told the Belarus 1 TV channel broadcast on Sunday.
According to Lukashenko, the two presidents "looked deeper into that problem, from the standpoint of the new Armenian leadership, the policy pursued by [Prime Minister] Nikol Pashinyan and his government." "We discussed our joint actions in the CSTO and the problems that exist within the CSTO itself today, and those actions, for which the members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization are responsible," he said.
Armenia earlier initiated the process of replacing the CSTO secretary general. On July 26, the country’s Special Investigation Service pressed charges against Khachaturov, accusing him of overthrowing the constitutional order in 2008 and asked the court to impose a pre-trial detention on him. At that time, Khachaturov was the Commander of the Yerevan Garrison of the Armenian Armed Forces. He pleaded not guilty.
On July 28, Yerevan City Court of General Jurisdiction released Khachaturov on his own recognizance after a $10,000 bail was paid.