The CSTO’s future and Uzbek neutrality | Vestnik Kavkaza

Posted: October 6, 2012 in Tajikistan

Vladimir Muratov

This summer, Uzbekistan decided to abandon the Collective Security Treaty Organization. The secretariat of the CSTO received the respective note from the foreign ministry of this country on June 28. While experts discuss Uzbekistan’s reasons for ceasing the cooperation, “the neutrals” have demonstrated their attitude to the CSTO. The Uzbek authorities didn’t provide a corridor for the Kazakh military convoy which headed to Tajikistan for participation in anti-terrorist war games of the SCO “Peaceful Mission 2012.” Tanks and other equipment had to be transferred through Kyrgyzstan. What can be expected in case of a real military conflict?

What are the reasons for breaking up between Uzbekistan and the CIS military organization? What will be consequences for the Commonwealth?

The treaty signed in 1992 initially consolidated more than a half of the post-Soviet republics – Armenia, Kazakhstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Belarus. But in 1999 Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan abandoned the organization. However, Uzbekistan changed its mind in 2006 after the events in Andizhan. Then the authorities expected that the military forces of the CSTO could participate in breaking up the riot. But the treaty requires that the forces can act only against an external enemy. The same situation appeared during bloodshed in the Osh Valley in Kyrgyzstan. These developments caused criticism of the organization.

Was this criticism reasonable? At the moment, the CSTO establishes a cordon along the Afghan border through which illegal drug trade, illegal armament trade, and penetration of militants and extremist organizations to Central Asia take place. War games are held regularly, as well as joint anti-terrorist operations and struggle against drug trade are provided. Exclusion of Uzbekistan from this cordon means reformation of the defense system, improvement of security on the Uzbek border; it might lead to ceasing economic and humanitarian ties with this country.

via The CSTO’s future and Uzbek neutrality | Vestnik Kavkaza.

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