Russia can’t be neutral towards the trend of “by-pass strategy” of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, their foreign policy interests and Eurasian plans
Kazakhstan has recently participated in international military exercises with its NATO partners as well as through the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in what at first sight appears to confirm that its multi-vector foreign policy also strongly influences its defense and security policy. Nonetheless, the scope, intensity and seriousness attached to the country’s defense and security relations with Moscow and its involvement in the CSTO goes far above the lip service it pays to cooperation with NATO. This critical distinction in Astana’s defense policy is amply demonstrated by the country hosting the CSTO’s first peacekeeping exercises from October 8 to October 17 (Interfax, October 3; see EDM, September 11).
Armenia has launched military exercises "Interaction-2012". Collective Rapid Reaction Forces will respond the conventional enemy aggression. For this, all the CSTO states have gathered military units near Armenia. At the landfill "Baghramyan", located 50 km from Yerevan, there are deployed around 2 thousand troops. The purpose of the exercise is to strengthen military cooperation and achieve mutual understanding within the CSTO. As well as to show NATO military capabilities.
Suspension of Uzbekistan Membership in the Organization May Have the Most Serious Consequences
On December 20, 2011, members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) reached an agreement that makes it impossible for any individual country in the group to host a foreign military base on its territory without the full consent of all other members of the organization. The initiative empowers Russia to veto any foreign basing plans in Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Hence, the move serves as a continuation of Russia’s efforts to counteract the influence of the US military and reassert its own role in its immediate neighborhood (Interfax, December 21).
The CSTO gives higher priority to the trainings of the Collective Rapid Reaction Forces (KSOR) in Armenia in 2012. This was declared during the press-conference in Yerevan by the Vice General Secretary of the Organization Valery Semerikov.
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A think tank chaired by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has come up with an interesting idea for getting the largely ineffective Collective Security Treaty Organization off the ground: Kick out Uzbekistan.
Most Russian and European politicians and experts admit the obvious amorphism of the CSTO and its incomplete adequacy towards real challenges.
The Russian-led security alliance, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), which includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, has pledged to face security challenges in Central Asia by boosting military cooperation.