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The Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO)

Date: 10 January 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

The Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) has been working alongside Kazakh security forces to contain unrest in the country.

 

Background

Kazakhstan is in middle of a major unrest arising out of rising fuel prices in the country. The political section has been forced to retreat due to public anger.

 

Details

  • The protests started as a large demonstration against rise in LPG cost but soon turned into a protest demanding regime change.

  • The government asked help under the CSTO. Russia and Belarus Special Forces landed in the country to control the situation.

 

The organization

  • The Collective Security Treaty came into force in 1994. It was a treaty between Russia and five of its allies in the Commonwealth of Independent States.

  • After the fall of Soviet Union in 1991, the Warsaw Pact dissolved. There was an alternative need for a security pact between former Soviet countries.

  • In 2002, the organization was upgraded to a military alliance. Today it has six members: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan. 

 

Functioning

In 2007, the CSTO raised 20,000 elite personnel who are kept on high alert. They conducted join-exercised including anti-terror drills.

 

Cooperation actions

  • For the first time in the organization’s history, the Article 4 was invoked. The Kazakhstan’s President blamed foreign-trained “terrorist gangs” for the protests.

  • The rotating chairman of the group, Armenia agreed to send in peacekeepers. In addition to Russia and Belarus, Tajikistan and Armenia also agreed to send contingents.

 

Russia’s growing influence

  • The CSTO is a tool to strengthen Russia’s influence over central Asia and weaken Western and Chinese presence in the region.

  • The CSTO member countries benefit from Russia’s advanced military technology. It also gives Russia veto over any other foreign bases in the region. 

  • Russia also claims that Central Asian nations are not real countries, and instead simply part of the “greater Russian world”.