The Collective Security Treaty Organization - CSTO - has been operating for 18 years. The Collective Security Treaty itself was signed in Tashkent on May 15, 1992. The CSTO Secretary General Stanislav Zas, who took office earlier this year, told in his first interview to the media whether there was a threat of a military conflict between the CSTO and NATO, what achievements of the organization and prospects for its expansion were, as well as how the bloc is fought against the coronavirus pandemic and whether the military-political situation in the world would change after the end of the epidemic.
Today, the Collective Security Treaty is 28 years old. The CSTO is 18
The Collective Security Treaty Organization dates back to the conclusion of the Collective Security Treaty, which was signed in Tashkent (the Republic of Uzbekistan) on May 15, 1992 by the heads of the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan. Later, the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Belarus and the Republic of Georgia (1993) joined it. The treaty entered into force upon completion of the national ratification procedures on April 20, 1994.
The key Article 4 of the Treaty states that: “If one of the member states is the target of aggression by any state or group of states, this will be considered as aggression upon 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 it with the necessary assistance, including military assistance, and will also support the means at their disposal in order to exercise the right to collective defense in accordance with the Article 51 of the UN Charter. ”
The Collective Security Treaty was concluded for a period of five years with the possibility of subsequent extension. In 1999, the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Tajikistan signed the Protocol on the extension of the Collective Security Treaty. On the basis of the Protocol a new composition of the participating countries was formed and an automatic procedure for extending the Treaty for five-year periods was established (the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Georgia and the Republic of Uzbekistan ceased its membership in the Treaty).
Until 2002, the Treaty was essentially a regional agreement, which played an important role in maintaining close cooperation and mutual understanding in the military-political field.
On May 14, 2002, in Moscow, the Collective Security Council decided to give the Collective Security Treaty the status of an international regional organization.
On October 7, 2002, the CSTO Charter was approved. In December 2003, the CSTO Charter was registered with the UN Secretariat. And in 2004, the Organization received the observer status in the UN General Assembly.
In accordance with the Article 3 of the Charter, the objectives of the Organization are the strengthening of peace, international and regional security and stability, the collective defense 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: the priority of political means over the military, strict respect for independence, voluntary participation, equal rights and obligations of member states, non-interference in matters falling within the national jurisdiction of member states.
Thus, 18 years ago, the main organizational procedures were carried out related to the legalization 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 Republic of Uzbekistan renewed its membership in the CSTO, and in 2012 it suspended the membership).
Coordination of joint actions of the CSTO is ensured by the statutory, permanent working and subsidiary bodies formed in accordance with the CSTO Charter.
The Collective Security Council (CSC) is the supreme body of the Organization and consists of the heads of the member states. It considers the fundamental issues of the Organization’s activities and makes decisions aimed at implementing its goals and objectives, and also ensures coordination and joint activities of the member states to achieve these goals. CSC sessions are held alternately in member states as necessary, but at least once a year.
The Chairmanship of the Council is transferred in the Russian alphabetical order, unless the Council decides otherwise.
The Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs (CMFA), 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 relation to their competence.
The CSTO Permanent Council is the coordinating body that, between the sessions of the CSTO Collective Security Treaty, deals with issues of cooperation within the Organization and, together with the permanent working bodies, ensures the implementation of decisions made by the CSTO bodies. The Council consists of permanent and plenipotentiary representatives appointed by the member states in accordance with their intrastate procedures.
The CSTO Secretariat provides organizational, informational, analytical and advisory support to 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 collective security system, the creation of coalition (regional) groupings of troops (forces) and their command and control bodies, military infrastructure, the training of military personnel and specialists for the armed forces, and the provision of necessary weapons and military equipment. The location of the Joint Staff is Moscow.
The highest administrative officer of the Organization is the Secretary General. It is appointed by the decision of the heads of state upon the recommendation of the CSTO Council of Foreign Ministers for a period of 3 years on a rotational basis from among citizens of the CSTO member states. On January 1, 2020, the representative of the Republic of Belarus Stanislav Vasilievich ZAS was appointed Secretary General.
To solve the tasks facing the CSTO, subsidiary bodies and working groups can be created on a permanent or temporary basis, operating in certain areas of activity.
In October 2016, at the October session of the Collective Security Council in Yerevan, the Collective Security Treaty Organization Strategy for the Collective Security for the period until 2025 was adopted. The Strategy is revealing the concept of further strengthening the CSTO’s combined potential with the aim of turning it into one of the most effective international policy instruments ensuring peace and security in the vast Eurasian region in close interaction and dialogue with all partners sharing the goals and principles of our Organization.
In order to fend off existing and emerging challenges and threats to the security of member states, an effective collective security system based on three complementary areas of collective effort: political, military cooperation and cooperation in countering challenges and threats has been created within the Collective Security Treaty Organization.