Commentary No : 2012 / 100
2 min read

One could say that the organizations and unions starting to be formed with Russia’s lead within Eurasian geography are either inspired or have similarities with organizations and unions in the West. The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) is one of those. It appears to be the counterpart of NATO from Russia’s point of view. The last summit of the Collective Security Organization which started taking shape in May 1992 and reached its current form with a treaty signed in Tashkent by Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Tajikistan and Russia in October 1992, has convened on December 19 in Moscow. The news in the press reflect that the summit was held in a restricted manner, strictly among the leaders,while issues of collective security have been addressed with the attendance of the delegations. In the restricted talks held between the leaders, it is possible to assume that apart from military issues, economic issues have also been addressed and the Eurasian Union, which Russia attaches importance to, has been the major issue of discussion. It is also possible to presume that the country that has experienced the most difficulty in the summit concerning both issues has been Armenia because, as well known, while Armenia takes steps to develop its military relations with NATO, it has also undertaken an opening to the European Union for its future orientation. The CSTO’s only member in Europe is currently Belarus. The Ukrainian Parliament has rejected membership. On the other hand, Serbia appears to have opted to defer its decision to the future. In this situation, the organization is basically an Asian grouping. It appears that the door is also open to Iran in theory. The realization of such a possibility would lead one to think of the risks and new balances this would bring to the organization. It is natural for Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan and Tajikistan to make arrangements that would reduce their unease with bordering China, the awaking giant of Asia. These three bordering countries, together with Russia, also take part in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) established in 1996 which can be seen as an example of not putting the eggs in one basket within diplomacy. While the memberships of the CSTO and the CSO, which overlap in this manner, provide leverage for China from the aspect of the CSTO, for China, it provides the basis to prevent the policy of containing China and secures its rear while opening to the Pacific.

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