A video of Russian President Vladimir Putin dropping his pen during a Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) summit meeting in Yerevan, Armenia has gone viral on Twitter.
The 10 seconds
by Anton Gerashchenko, the adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister, on Thursday had more than 1.2 million views at the time of writing.
Nikol Pashinyan refused to sign a declaration following the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) summit.— Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) November 24, 2022
In fact, it means that the CSTO has collapsed completely.
Putin dropped his pen, Lukashenko is shocked. pic.twitter.com/lqPwusW4Gi
This appears to point to when Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced at the CSTO summit on Wednesday that he would not sign a draft joint declaration of the Russian-dominated alliance of former Soviet nations.
The six members of the CSTO are: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Russia.
“I close the meeting, thank you very much. Thank you very much,” Pashinyan said, before starting to get up from his seat.
Putin dropped his pen on the table in front of him, as a seemingly shocked Belarusian president, Alexander Lukashenko, looked on.
“Nikol Pashinyan refused to sign a statement following the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) summit. In fact, this means that the CSTO has completely collapsed. Putin dropped his pen, Lukashenko is shocked,” Gerashchenko tweeted.
Pashinyan said he did not sign the draft joint statement because it did not include a statement on neighboring Azerbaijan, which he accused of “aggression” against his nation’s territorial integrity.
Azerbaijan and Armenia, both former members of the Soviet Union, began fighting on their common border in September. Both nations blame the other for the clashes and for violating a ceasefire agreement. The conflict is the worst the two rival former Soviet republics in the Caucasus have engaged in since 2020, when thousands were killed.
Earlier this year, Armenia failed in its attempt to invoke the collective defense provision of the CSTO.
“These are very important questions. We should consult on issues that will ensure long-term peace in the region,” he told the leaders of CSTO member states.
“Until today, we failed to reach a decision on a CSTO response to Azerbaijan’s aggression against Armenia,” Pashinyan said. “These facts seriously damage the image of the CSTO both inside our country and outside its borders.”
Pashinyan and Putin met on the sidelines of the CSTO summit, after Armenia’s prime minister refused to put his name on the document, the Kremlin said.
Another clip from the CSTO summit circulating on Twitter appears to show Pashinyan distancing himself from Putin in a group photo.
Newsweek contacted the Russian Foreign Ministry for comment.
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