The current Armenian pro-Western government, led by Nikol Pashinyan, began blackmailing Russia with the collapse and loss of effectiveness of the CSTO bloc long before the 44-day war. In 2018, after Nikol Pashinian came to power in Armenia, CSTO secretary general Yuri Khachaturov was arrested. It was only after the intervention of the Russian foreign minister that Yuri Khachaturov was released on bail, but in fact the key figure in the CSTO was then held "hostage" by Pashinyan, especially as Khachaturov could not leave Armenia, even on his own CSTO-related business. The CSTO only managed to unblock its work from early 2020, when Stanislav Zas from Belarus replaced Yuri Khachaturov as its secretary.
Pashinyan demanded that the CSTO should fight for Armenia against Azerbaijan in the same 44-day war and, along with this, fulfil the "orders" of its Western geopolitical "masters". Otherwise, how else to explain the fact that it was Pashinyan who initiated the deployment of CSTO contingent in Kazakhstan and insisted that there were Armenians there, and the Armenian lobby was clearly displeased with the rapid drawdown of the foreign military presence on the territory of Kazakhstan. What caused Pashinyan's interest in Kazakhstan at the time, it is difficult to say unequivocally. But it is doubtless that his French "friends" have such an interest. France is one of the leading operators of nuclear energy and nuclear fuel trade in the world, and it is interested in uranium deposits of Kazakhstan.
After Russia's aggression against Ukraine, where it was "stuck" in the war, Pashinyan first tried to force Russia to fulfil its "CSTO alliance obligations" again through military provocations (essentially organising a "second front" for Russia). When this failed, he decided to do the best he could to "serve" his Western masters, including the accelerated dismantling of the CSTO bloc from within. This unambiguously hits not only Russia, but also the peace process in the South Caucasus, where the involvement of new "players" only delays the signing of a peace treaty and the unblocking of communications.
In Yerevan, as "host" of the CSTO summit, Nikol Pashinyan refused to sign a draft declaration of the CSTO Collective Security Council (CSTO) and a draft on joint assistance measures for Armenia. Regarding the latter, Pashinyan said that the submitted documents "do not contain a clear political assessment of Azerbaijan's actions," which, in his opinion, is "aggression against Armenia. Nikol Pashinyan believes that the absence of such an assessment creates opportunities for new offensive actions of the Azerbaijani side.
According to Nikol Pashinyan, Yerevan "expects the CSTO to conduct political and diplomatic work with Azerbaijan for the withdrawal of troops from the sovereign territory of Armenia. That is, Pashinyan wants the CSTO to urge Azerbaijan to hand over to Armenia its border territories, which the Armenian nationalists consider "Armenian".
Thus, Nikol Pashinian has once again posed the essentially ultimatum question "either the CSTO fights for Armenia against Azerbaijan, or it starts the break-up of the organisation from within".
It is no coincidence that the "SVR General" telegram channel published interesting insider information after the CSTO summit in Yerevan, from which it follows that Russian President Vladimir Putin, who participated in the Yerevan meeting of heads of CSTO member states, set a task to keep this military bloc in a formal form at least until November 2023. That was the request the Russian president made to Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. Vladimir Putin asked the Kazakh and Armenian leaders not to suspend their membership in the CSTO until November next year. Tokayev promised to "consider" and "take into account" Putin's requests, while Pashinyan left the Russian president's requests unanswered.
Meanwhile, the CSTO summit in Yerevan was one of the most difficult political events for Putin in 2022. The Kremlin is well aware of the desire of the leaders of Kazakhstan and Armenia to leave the CSTO - the sooner the better. All the more so since Russia's "allies" in the CSTO are beginning to understand the inevitability of Russia's defeat in the war in Ukraine, which automatically puts an end to any prospects for the organisation's existence. All the more so since the CSTO summit coincided with the European Parliament resolution recognizing Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism, and few want to be in the same organization as a state with such a dubious status.
At least, apart from Armenia, other countries are not forcing the collapse of the CSTO from within and are not rigidly raising the issue of satisfying their claims to their neighbours by threatening to withdraw from the organisation. This issue is being raised more and more loudly in Armenia, where thousands of anti-Russian demonstrations demanding Armenia's withdrawal from the CSTO are clearly being organised at Pashinyan's instigation.
It is clear that Pashinyan's government is not trying to accelerate "reconciliation" with its neighbours by kicking Russia and the CSTO out of the South Caucasus. On the contrary, Armenia wants to draw "new external forces" into the conflict. In fact, Pashinyan is working to replace the Russian military presence in the region with France, which is extremely dangerous for regional stability, since France is already creating artificial "zones of tension" in the Near and Middle East, and would not benefit from a quick peace deal and unblocking of communications in the region.