Russian-led NATO rival ready to expand – secretary general
Russian-led NATO rival ready to expand – secretary general

The Eurasian CSTO alliance has become more crucial, given the existing tensions, Imangali Tasmagambetov has said

Current tensions could motivate more countries to join the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the alliance’s secretary general, Imangali Tasmagambetov, has said. He made his remarks after the CSTO foreign ministers’ summit in Kazakhstan last week.

The CSTO was founded in 1992 in the wake of the breakup of the Soviet Union. Its current members are Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Armenia.

“The increasing tensions within the rapidly deteriorating system of international security will draw more attention to organizations like the CSTO,” Tasmagambetov told the Russian news agency TASS on Monday. He argued that the “social and political demand for security can lead to the expansion of the organization’s functions, as well as an increase in membership.”

The official added that members could further develop the group’s peacekeeping potential. “The history of the last two centuries shows that the most in-demand instrument is collective security,” he said.

In January 2022, the organization deployed its peacekeeping force for the first time to help quell unrest and riots in Kazakhstan. CSTO members have refused to impose sanctions on Russia or send military aid to Ukraine when Moscow launched its military operation in the neighboring state in February 2022.

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Nevertheless, the Eurasian alliance has also experienced some internal struggles. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan suspended his country’s participation in the organization earlier this year and threatened to leave CSTO altogether, while accusing the allies of inaction during Armenia’s conflict with Azerbaijan. Moscow has rejected the allegations of not fulfilling its commitments to Yerevan.

“Armenia is our ally, and all of our commitments to Armenia remain active. As for the question of membership in the organization, it is a sovereign right and the decision of each [individual] country,” Tasmagambetov said last week.

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