MINSK, 12 November (BelTA) - The appointment of a new CSTO secretary general was not the main issue on the agenda of the summit in Astana, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said as he met with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Azerbaijan to Belarus Latif Gandilov on 12 November, BelTA has learned.
The head of state remarked that he was surprised by the rumors in mass media about the major topics that had been discussed at the meeting. “I am keeping an eye on what mass media are saying, especially after he CSTO summit. And I am surprised by those rumors. However, it is our fault, the fault of our Ministry of Foreign Affairs that we did not properly inform journalists and our society about the topics discussed at the summit and so on. They said that we had discussed the candidates for the CSTO secretary general's position only. Yes, we discussed this matter, but it took us about 15 minutes,” the president remarked.
“The most discussed topic was the foreign policy situation around the CSTO countries. Of course, while discussing the situation around our countries, we also touched upon the internal policy situation but only at the suggestion of a certain president. No one was going to interfere in certain processes. For example, Nikol Pashinyan. There will be the parliamentary elections on 9 December, he talked about it, we listened to him,” the head of state said. “Belarus hosted several events: the Munich Security Conference Core Group Meeting, forums of regions with Ukraine and Russia, and I touched upon those issues. All the events happening around us have an impact on the internal policy situation. The presidents listened to me and took notice. They also informed us about the events in their countries. Nothing extraordinary.”
Speaking about the appointment of a new head of the CSTO apparatus, Alexander Lukashenko remarked: “Of course, there were many options. But it does not mean that we pinched Armenia, that there is a winner and a loser. It means that Nikol Pashinyan should sort out the situation in the government because this country presides in the EAEU (our economic union) and the CSTO. This is very big pressure for the country in such a transitional period. Will Armenia cope with it? If Nikol Pashinyan sorts the things out and gives us an answer, it will be in Saint Petersburg.” The president emphasized that the decision may be made at the meeting on 6 December.