From the Treaty to the Organization

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History of creation, fundamentals of activity, organizational structure.

The Collective Security Treaty Organization originates from the conclusion of the Collective Security Treaty, which was signed in Tashkent (Uzbekistan) on May 15, 1992 by the heads of Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Later, it was joined by Azerbaijan, Belarus and Georgia (1993). The treaty entered into force upon completion of the national ratification procedures on April 20, 1994.

Key Article 4 of the Treaty states: “If one of the States Parties is subjected to aggression by any state or group of states, then this will be considered as aggression against all States Parties to this Treaty. In the event of an act of aggression against any of the participating States, all other participating States will provide him with the necessary assistance, including military, and will also provide support at their disposal in exercising the right to collective defense in accordance with Article 51 of the UN Charter. ”

The collective security agreement was concluded for a period of five years with the possibility of further extension. In 1999, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan signed a Protocol on the extension of the Collective Security Treaty, on the basis of which a new composition of the participating countries was formed and an automatic procedure for extending the Treaty for five years was established (Azerbaijan, Georgia and Uzbekistan ceased your membership in the Treaty).

Until 2002, the Treaty was essentially a regional agreement, which played an important role in maintaining close cooperation and understanding in the military-political field.

On May 14, 2002, in Moscow, the Collective Security Council made a decision to grant the status of an international regional organization to the Collective Security Treaty.

On October 7, 2002, the Charter of the CSTO was approved. In December 2003, the CSTO Charter was registered with the UN Secretariat. And in 2004, the Organization received observer status in the UN General Assembly.

In accordance with Article 3 of the Charter, the objectives of the Organization are the strengthening of peace, international and regional security and stability, the protection on a collective basis of the independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty of Member States. The document defines the following principles by which the Organization is guided in its activities: priority of political means over the military, strict respect for independence, voluntary participation, equality of rights and obligations of member states, non-interference in affairs falling under the national jurisdiction of member states.

Thus, 15 years ago, the main organizational procedures were carried out related to the legal registration of the current status of the CSTO as an international regional Organization uniting independent democratic states with common interests in the field of collective security. The Organization today includes: the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Tajikistan (in the summer of 2006, the CSTO resumed its membership, and in 2012 suspended Uzbekistan).

Coordination of joint actions by the CSTO is ensured by statutory permanent workers and subsidiary bodies established in accordance with the CSTO Charter. 

The Collective Security Council (CSC) is the highest body of the Organization and consists of heads of member states. It considers the fundamental issues of the Organization’s activities and makes decisions aimed at the realization of its goals and objectives, as well as provides coordination and joint activities of the Member States for the realization of these goals. Sessions of the CSC are held alternately in Member States as necessary, but at least once a year.

The chairmanship of the Council is transferred in the order of the Russian alphabet, unless the Council decides otherwise. 

The Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs (CFM), the Council of Ministers of Defense (CMD), and the Committee of Secretaries of Security Councils (CSSC) are responsible for coordinating the interaction of member states in their competence.

The Permanent Council of the CSTO is the coordinating body, which in the period between sessions of the CSC of the CSTO deals with cooperation within the Organization and, together with permanent working bodies, ensures the implementation of decisions made by the CSTO bodies. The Council consists of permanent and authorized representatives appointed by Member States in accordance with their internal procedures.

The CSTO Secretariat provides organizational, informational, analytical and advisory support for the activities of the Organization’s statutory bodies. It implements the preparation of draft decisions and other documents of the organs of the Organization. The location of the Secretariat is Moscow.

The CSTO joint staff is responsible for preparing proposals and implementing decisions on the formation within the Organization of an effective system of collective security, creating coalition (regional) groups of troops (forces) and their command bodies, military infrastructure, training military personnel and specialists for the armed forces, and providing the necessary weapons and military equipment. The location of the Joint Staff is Moscow.

The highest administrative official of the Organization is the Secretary General. He is appointed by the decision of the Heads of State on the proposal of the CSTO Ministerial Council for a period of 3 years on a rotational basis from among the citizens of the CSTO member states.

In order to accomplish the tasks facing the CSTO, subsidiary bodies and working groups may be established on a permanent or temporary basis, functioning in individual areas of activity.

In 2016, at the October session of the Collective Security Council in Yerevan, the Collective Security Treaty Organization’s Collective Security Strategy for the period up to 2025 was adopted, revealing the concept of further strengthening the total potential of the CSTO to become one of the effective instruments of international politics that ensure peace and security in the vast Eurasian region in close cooperation and dialogue with all partners who share the goals and principles of our Organization.

To counter existing and re-emerging challenges and threats to the security of member states, an effective collective security system has been created within the CSTO, based on three complementary measures each other's areas of application of collective efforts: political, military cooperation and cooperation in the sphere of countering challenges and threats.

Political cooperation.

In accordance with Article 9 of the CSTO Charter, in the format of the Organization, a mechanism of regular political consultations functions, during which assessments of the situation in the CSTO area of ​​responsibility are discussed, common positions are being developed and joint approaches are being sought to current issues on the international agenda, and collective statements are being coordinated. The mechanism of foreign policy coordination has been formed. Its normative basis is the Provision adopted on November 19, 2003 on the procedure for the functioning of the mechanism for coordinating the foreign policy activities of the CSTO member states.

     Since 2011, the Organization has been actively operating the mechanism of Collective Guidance to representatives of the CSTO member states with international organizations, which envisage the formation of common approaches on topical issues of international security policy. In accordance with the List of joint statements approved by the CSTO Ministerial Council on an annual basis, the practice of speaking at various international forums with joint statements by the Organization’s member states continues.

The most important and priority activity of the CSTO is cooperation with international organizations and third countries in the interest of joining efforts for the sake of maintaining stability and strengthening peace.

Progressively and constructively, on the basis of an appropriate legal framework, the CSTO develops cooperation with the UN, OSCE, SCO and the CIS and their specialized structures. Cooperation with third countries is expanding. As part of this cooperation, approaches are being agreed upon to address such important and mutually interesting topics as countering international terrorism and extremism, the illicit distribution of drugs, and ensuring border security.терроризму и экстремизму, незаконному распространению наркотиков, обеспечение пограничной безопасности.

An important area of ​​activity for the CSTO is crisis response. In October 2016, in Yerevan, the CSTO CSC decided to establish the CSTO Crisis Response Center, which will be entrusted with the task of information and analytical and organizational and technical support for the relevant CSTO decisions to be taken by the authorized bodies of the CSTO for crisis response.

Military construction

The goal of military cooperation is to ensure the collective and national security of the Organization's member states by maintaining, within the framework of the necessary sufficiency and readiness, the defense potential of each member state, the forces and means of the CSTO collective security system to fulfill the missions in accordance with Articles 4 and 6 of the Collective Security Treaty May 15, 1992 security and timely response to possible challenges and threats to the national and collective security of the CSTO member states.

The basis of the CSTO military potential consists of the created Collective Operational Response Forces, regional (combined) groups of troops (forces), Collective aviation and peacekeeping forces, combined (joint) military systems and military infrastructure objects. The indicated forces and means of collective security make up the CSTO Troops (Collective Forces).

In the framework of the implementation of the Main Directions for the Development of Military Cooperation of the CSTO Member States for the period until 2020, the Russian-Belarusian and Russian-Armenian groups of troops (forces) created on a bilateral basis, which are deployed in the Eastern European and Caucasus regions of collective security, are being systematically improved.

In 2001, the Collective Rapid Deployment Forces in the Central Asian region of collective security (CFRD CAR) of about 5,000 people were formed in the CSTO format. 

In February 2009, the CSTO Collective Rapid Reaction Forces (CRRF) were created, including military contingents and formations of special forces of the CSTO member states with a total number of about 20 thousand people, capable of accomplishing tasks of both military and special nature.

As part of improving the management of forces and means of the collective security system during the annual business games, joint exercises and trainings, the requirements of the CSTO CSTO Decision on Organizing the Control of the CSTO Troops (Collective Forces) dated September 15, 2015 are being implemented and practically implemented.

The preparation of the Forces (Collective Forces) of the Organization for the fulfillment of the assigned tasks is carried out in accordance with the annual plans of joint activities of operational and combat training. Since 2004, in accordance with these plans, more than 30 exercises of various sizes have been conducted with the formations of the forces and means of the collective security system on the territory of the CSTO member states with the already well-known names: "Boundary", "Interaction", "The Indestructible Brotherhood", " Thunder "," Cobalt "and several others. Representatives of foreign countries and international organizations are regularly invited as observers and participants to participate in these exercises.

In 2007, the heads of the CSTO member states agreed on the CSTO peacekeeping activity, which entered into force and was registered with the UN Secretariat in 2009. For participation in peacekeeping operations, a CSTO peacekeeping force of about 3,000 armed forces personnel and about 600 representatives of the internal affairs agencies of the member states have been established on an ongoing basis. The CSTO peacekeeping forces can be used both in the area of ​​responsibility of the Organization by the decision of the Collective Security Council, and beyond its limits under the mandate of the UN Security Council.

      International cooperation in the field of peacemaking is underway. In September 2012, a corresponding Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the CSTO Secretariat and the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations.

Cooperation between the CSTO and the International Committee of the Red Cross in various areas of humanitarian activity has been developed.

The CSTO Joint Staff has been formed and since January 1, 2004. The activities of the Joint Staff are focused on solving practical tasks related to the formation, operation and use of Troops (Collective Forces); preparing and conducting joint operational and combat training activities with the ministries of defense (the general staffs of the armed forces) of the member states, military technical cooperation; coordinating joint training of personnel and specialists for the armed forces of member states; organization of the functioning of the CSTO Crisis Response Center and its interaction with the authorized national authorities.

One of the priority areas of military construction within the Organization is military-technical cooperation, regulated by the 2000 Special Agreement. As the main principle of this cooperation, a preferential regime of mutual deliveries of military products between the CSTO member states at prices set by them for their own armed forces, as well as law enforcement agencies and special services, is provided for.

In order to address issues of military-economic cooperation, an Interstate Commission for Military-Economic Cooperation has been established and is successfully operating, composed of the Deputy Prime Ministers of the CSTO member states responsible for this sector of work, and headed by the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation. As part of its activities, work continued on the development of cooperative ties between defense enterprises of the member states and the defense industries of the Russian Federation, and the establishment of service centers for the maintenance and repair of weapons and military equipment in the CSTO member states. Cooperation projects between the member states of the Organization are implemented on a bilateral and multilateral basis.

Countering modern security challenges and threats.

In matters of countering the contemporary challenges and threats to the collective security of the CSTO, priority is given to the fight against international terrorism and extremism, drug trafficking, illegal migration and human trafficking, criminal and destructive activities in the information space.

Countering drug trafficking.

In order to achieve the objectives of countering this threat in the format of the Organization, in 2014, the Anti-Drug Strategy of the CSTO Member States for 2015–2020 was successfully implemented.

Under the auspices of the Coordination Council of the Heads of the Competent Authorities for Combating Illicit Drug Trafficking (CACIDT), the CSTO has been running the Regional Canal anti-drug operation since 2003. During this time, about 335 tons of drugs were seized during the operations, including more than 16 tons of heroin, 5 tons of cocaine, 52 tons of hashish, 6 tons of synthetic drugs, as well as over 12,000 firearms.

In order to carry out coordinated activities in the field of drug demand reduction, prevention of illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts in the member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, since 2013 the Coordination Meeting of the chief narcologists of the Organization's member states has been operating on a systematic basis. 

Emergency response

Responsibility for the coordination of joint actions of the member states in the field of emergency response is assigned to the Emergency Coordination Council established in 2007 of the CSTO member states (CCES CSTO).

In accordance with the Plan of Measures approved by the CSTO CSC in 2014 for the implementation of the Basic Guidelines for Developing a Critical Response System of the CSTO Member States to Emergencies within the Organization, work is underway to create Humanitarian Centers in the collective security regions; The development of a legal framework continues to ensure the deployment of state material reserves in the territory of the CSTO member states;
the formation of a common information and software space for the exchange of operational information and the coordination of joint actions of member states was completed; work continues on coordinating the activities of international organizations in order to use their potential in rendering assistance to victims in emergency situations.

Countering illegal migration and human trafficking.

Since 2008, the Coordination Council of the Heads of the Competent Authorities of the CSTO Member States on Combating Illegal Migration (CIM) has been working effectively in the framework of the CSTO.

Since 2008, operational preventive measures have been conducted in the CSTO format as part of Operation Nelegal, aimed at identifying and preventing violations of migration legislation, including by citizens of third countries.

During this time, hundreds of thousands of crimes in this area were stopped during Operation Nelegal, and over 1,600 people were detained on the international wanted list. In 2016 alone, dubious financial transactions of about 1.5 billion US dollars were revealed, hundreds of channels of trafficking were opened.

Information space security

The Collective Security Strategy of the CSTO for the period up to 2025 noted that one of the main factors related to contemporary challenges and threats to the collective security of the CSTO is striving to achieve strategic goals using force, including information pressure, the use of information and communication technologies. in order to provide a destructive impact on the socio-political and socio-economic situation, manipulating the public consciousness, the use of information and technology in the so-called "complex" or "hybrid" technology.

In the CSTO format, the formation of an information security system in the interests of the Organization’s member states began in 2006. During this time, at the level of the CSTO Collective Security Council, more than ten normative legal acts have been adopted that regulate the cooperation of the Organization's member states in this area. In order to coordinate joint actions under the Committee of Secretaries of the CSTO Security Councils, a Working Group on Information Policy and Information Security has been formed.

The Protocol on the interaction of the CSTO member states in combating criminal activities in the information sphere entered into force.

Practical measures are being implemented on an ongoing basis to counter crime in the field of information technology in the format of Operation PROXY (from the full name “Counteraction to crime in the field of information”). The main purpose of the operation is to identify and suppress information resources in the national segments of the Internet, the content of which damages or may damage the national and collective security of the Organization's member states.

In total, during the operation PROXI since 2009, about 80,000 information resources were identified that are important for assessing threats to collective security. The activities of over 32 thousand of them are suspended or blocked. At the same time, about 60 thousand facts testifying to the possible commission of crimes were revealed. According to the results of inspections of the received materials, more than 15 thousand criminal cases were initiated.

In December 2014, the CSTO Collective Security Council decided to establish a Collective Security Treaty Organization Coordinating Center for Computer Emergency Response (CER) consultation center. As part of its activities, the list of the most important objects of the national information infrastructure is being finalized, the security of which requires joint monitoring. The exchange of information about cyber attacks has been established.

An important task of the CSTO is the training and retraining of specialists in all areas of its activities. Every year, about 1,500 people from member states of the Organization study on preferential terms or free of charge at universities of the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Emergency Situations, Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation. On similar conditions, students from the CSTO countries are trained in specialized universities of Armenia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

In addition, in educational institutions of higher professional education of the Russian Federation, about 200 representatives of the Organization's member states annually study in various civil specialties.

Parliamentary cooperation

On November 16, 2006, a meeting of the members of the Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of the CIS Member States, members of the CSTO, was held in St. Petersburg, at which it was decided to create a CSTO Parliamentary Assembly. 

In December 2010, by the decision of the CSTO CSTO, the Parliamentary Assembly was included in the CSTO Charter as an inter-parliamentary cooperation body. The main form of work of the Parliamentary Assembly are plenary meetings, which are held, as a rule, at least once a year. Extraordinary plenary sessions may be convened by the PA Council of the CSTO.

The activities of the Parliamentary Assembly are organized by its Chairman and the Council, consisting of the heads of parliaments (heads of chambers of parliaments). At present, the Council is headed by the Chairman of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation V.V. Volodin.

Council meetings are held both in St. Petersburg and in the capitals of the CSTO member states. Under the Council of the Parliamentary Assembly, the Coordination Meeting of the Chairmen of Defense and Security Committees (Commissions) on the Parliaments of the CSTO Member States and the Expert Advisory Council are functioning.


The working bodies of the Assembly are the three Permanent Commissions: on political issues and international cooperation, on issues of defense and security, on socio-economic and legal issues, and the Information and Analytical Legal Center, which meet twice a year. The permanent working body is the Secretariat of the CSTO Parliamentary Assembly.

Information work

In the information sphere, the work of the CSTO focuses on the formation of a mechanism for information and analytical interaction within the Organization, coordinating approaches in information policy in the interests of collective security.

An important role in these matters is played by the Scientific and Expert Council (SEC) of the CSTO, which consists of high-level representatives of leading research organizations of member states,

The CSTO Analytical Association, which unites in its work about 30 information and analytical structures of the CSTO member states and the CSTO University League, which includes about 30 institutions of higher education from all the Organization's member states. In the CSTO format, cultural and educational work is actively carried out with a focus on young people, within the framework of which joint sports events and competitions in military-applied sports are held on a regular basis.

Information support for the activities of the CSTO and its working and auxiliary bodies is carried out with extensive use of digital diplomacy, including on the Organization’s official website, as well as through regular and extensive coverage of its practical activities at the leading information resources of the CSTO member states and the world media.