What Is CSTo – Burning Issues – Free PDF Download


The News

  • Early on January 6, Russian paratroopers and Belarusian special forces boarded planes for Almaty, one of the largest metropolises of Kazakhstan.
  • More than 2,500 paratroopers from Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan have been sent to Kazakhstan to ease tensions.

Why CSTO sent the troops?

What is this CSTO?

What is this CSTO?

What is this CSTO?

  • When the Cold War drew to a close in 1991, the Warsaw Pact, an alliance of eight socialist states, and the Soviet Union’s answer to NATO, dissolved.
  • Less than a year later, CSTO – Collective Security Treaty came into picture. In 1992, Russia and five of its allies in the Commonwealth of Independent States, which was nothing but a loose club of post-Soviet countries, signed a new Collective Security Treaty, which came into force in 1994.
  • CSTO charter affirmed the desire of all participating states to abstain from the use or threat of force. Also signatories would not be able to join other military alliances.

Can we say CSTO replaced Warsaw?

  • .!!!
  • CSTO was not as powerful as the Warsaw pact.
  • However, after 2001 when US invaded Afghanistan citing war on terror, it brought Central Asia in to larger geopolitics of the region.
  • In light of this, in 2002, CSTO declared itself as a full-blown military alliance.
  • Today it has six members:
    • Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan

What is this CSTO?

What is this CSTO?

  • In the last decade, the CSTO’s ambitions have grown.
  • In 2007, CSTO created a 3,600-strong peacekeeping force. In 2009, it established a rapid-reaction force comprising 20,000 elite personnel who are kept on high alert.
  • CSTO has also held joint exercises, including a series of high-profile “anti-terrorism” drills last year in response to the growing chaos in Afghanistan.
  • In January 2022, for the first time CSTO organsation invoked Article 4, which is very similar to NATO’s Article 5 under which the organization can use armed force or take “such action as it deems necessary” to restore and maintain security of member states.


  • Today CSTO has six members:
    • Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan
  • However, other members had joined and later withdrew from the pact.
    • Azerbaijan joined in 1994 & withdrew in 1999
    • Georgia has joined in 1994 but withdrew in 1999
    • Uzbekistan first joined in 1994 then withdrew in 1999 but again rejoined in 2006. But in 2012 it withdrew again.
  • Apart from these, Afghanistan was observer state till 2021. Serbia is still an observer.

Russian resurgence & CSTO

  • For Russia, the CSTO is a useful tool to tighten its grip on Central Asia, against both Western and Chinese encroachments.
  • Through CSTO, Russia justifies military facilities in member countries.
  • Russia has a defacto veto over any other foreign bases in the CSTO region.
  • In CSTO members, Russia finds good defence & energy consumers. (Note: CSTO’s members also benefit from cooperation with Russia’s advanced armed forces, including training and discounted arms sales)
  • Through CSTO & current intervention, Russia is sending a signal to authoritarian leaders that its there to protect them.




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