CSTO Looks to the Future

The official gave insight into the results of the sessions of the charter-based bodies of the Organization held in Dushanbe in May-June and the surprise combat readiness checks in the CSTO Collective Rapid Reaction Force conducted on May 12-19.

The Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency held a press conference of Nikolay Bordyuzha, Secretary General of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). The official gave insight into the results of the sessions of the charter-based bodies of the Organization held in Dushanbe in May-June and the surprise combat readiness checks in the CSTO Collective Rapid Reaction Force conducted on May 12-19.

At each of the sessions, chiefs of the Organization's bodies discussed the situation developing in the zone covered by the Collective Security Treaty and the surrounding areas. In general, it was stated that the serious changes in the whole geopolitical situation were taking place and aggravating.

The participants of the sessions discussed coordination in foreign policy activities, cooperation in protection of national interests on international platforms, collaboration between international organizations. Ivica Dačić, Foreign Minister of Serbia, members of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia headquartered in Ashgabat were invited to the plenary session.

The Committee of the Secretariat of the Security Council discussed the situation in Afghanistan, in particular, the need to counter the negative challenges and tendencies developing in the country.

One of the problems discussed at the session was prevention of recruitment of Russian citizens by members of ISIS. According to Nikolay Bordyuzha, there is some statistical data on the number of citizens of CSTO countries fighting and training in the ranks of ISIS. For example, 382 people have left Kyrgyzstan for the cause, compared to about 2,000 people from Russia.

ISIS expands, as assessed by the CSTO secretary general, taking the advantage of the real anti-terrorism cooperation between large international players in light of the Ukrainian crisis, which creates a convenient environment for activities of terrorist groups and allows recruiters to use mass media and social networks professionally to reach out to people personally.

The session of the Council of Defense Ministers was held after a surprise combat readiness check in the CSTO Collective Rapid Reaction Force (KSOR). Such inspection, when a forward detachment of KSOR was deployed to the Tajikistan-Afghanistan border, was carried out within the framework of the Organization for the first time. The process took three days. Preparations for the deployment, however, were quite long and elaborate. The CSTO chief noted that international organizations never relocated combat-ready troops to the territory of another state the next day after receiving the order. Matters would need to be settled with six presidents, proposals would need to be considered, including ones concerning the size of the units, with Defense Ministries of all our countries, it takes time. Nikolay Bordyuzha reported that all the operations were carried out without a hitch. This concerns the transit, reception of troops, control over coalition groups and planning operations.

Company-sized tactical groups of Belarus and Armenia, battalions and tactical groups of Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation were swiftly airlifted to the territory of Tajikistan using their own aviation. Over 70 flights were made. Kyrgyzstan's troops arrived to their destination according to schedule, making a thousand-kilometer march via ground vehicles.

The CSTO tested, first of all, different types of transit and, most importantly, the potential of swift rallying of troops, organization of their military activities.

In fact, a high-scale operation to combat drug trafficking was carried out simultaneously with the snap check. It is a brainchild of operational subdivisions. It involved special services of all CSTO member states, plus assistance of China, Iran and Afghanistan.

Simultaneously, special units of Kyrgyz, Russian and Tajik drug control agencies blocked the most active highland routes in the south of Kyrgyzstan to curb any drug run attempts. A very large shipment of hard drugs was seized immediately. The CSTO secretary general deems the operation successful. Moreover, once again, the potential of cooperation between different special subdivisions in such operations was put to a test.

In addition to that, commanders of special units of internal affairs agencies forming a part of KSOR used the time to rally troops on the territory of Kazakhstan and stage drills of tactical maneuvers in neutralizing armed gangs.

Nikolay Bordyuzha blamed the growing activeness of NATO states, which hold training maneuvers in Eastern Europe. He believes that NATO's steps are aimed at aggravating the situation, while statements of leaders of Baltic states are some sort of provocation to gain dividends (money and modern weapons) from major partners.

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