Putin’s meeting with the CSTO security alliance fell apart when an ally repeatedly denounced him.
Armenia’s prime minister refused to sign a joint document and distanced himself from Putin in a group photo.
It contributes to Putin’s isolation after other countries cut ties following the invasion of Ukraine.
The Russian president was snubbed three times by his alleged ally on Thursday as he met some of his country’s closest partners at an international summit.
Vladimir Putin met with leaders of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a Russian-dominated alliance of post-Soviet countries.
But the supposedly friendly forum proved difficult for Putin, who was belittled several times by Armenia’s prime minister in protest of the ongoing conflict with Azerbaijan.
Nikol Pashinyan used his speech at the start of the summit – held in Armenia’s capital Yerevan – to criticize the effectiveness of the alliance, of which Russia is by far the most powerful member.
The other members are Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Azerbaijan is not part of the group.
Pashinyan accused the alliance of not helping Armenia in its ongoing conflict with Azerbaijan, Reuters reported. Armenia attempted to invoke the CSTO’s collective defense facility earlier this year, but was unsuccessful.
Pashinyan said, “To this day, we have failed to reach a decision on a CSTO response to Azerbaijan’s aggression against Armenia.”
“These facts seriously damage the image of the CSTO, both in our country and abroad,” he said.
Pashinyan later refused to sign a draft statement from the summit, arguing that it was doing too little to oppose Azerbaijan, according to a report by the Turkish state-funded Andalou agency.
As the central and most powerful member of the CSTO, both criticisms were aimed particularly at Putin.
Pashinyan intensified his criticism when the country’s leaders lined up for a photo, standing conspicuously far from Putin to create a notable rift between the two leaders.
Pashinyan and Putin were photographed together during other phases of the meeting, which included shaking hands several times, and the Kremlin said the two leaders had a “separate meeting” after the summit.
Putin has become increasingly isolated on the world stage by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Many world leaders rejected him completely and he got into awkward interactions with a number of others.
India’s prime minister criticized the invasion of Ukraine directly to Putin in September, telling Puitn that he wanted the war to end as soon as possible.
Putin also admitted in September that China, a close partner of Russia, has “questions and concerns” about its actions in Ukraine.
The president of Tajikistan, a major ally of Russia, appeared to berate Putin to his face at a summit in October, saying Russia did not respect his country.
Putin also did not attend the G20 earlier this month or speak virtually about it. Instead, he sent his foreign minister.
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