Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) is a military-political alliance created by the former Soviet republics on the basis of the Collective Security Treaty (CST), which was signed on 15 May 1992 in Tashkent by Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. In 1993, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Belarus joined the Treaty.
The Treaty came into force on 20 April 1994. The agreement was designed for 5 years and allowed its extension. On 2 April 1999, the Presidents of Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan signed a protocol on the extension of the treaty for the next five years. However, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Uzbekistan refused to extend the treaty; Uzbekistan joined the GUAM in the same year.
It was decided to transform the CST in a full-fledged international organization – the Organization of Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) on May 14, 2002 during the Moscow session of the Collective Security Treaty. CSTO Charter was signed by the Collective Security Council in Kishinev on 7 October 2002 and came into force on 18 September 2003
The current member-states of the organization are the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Belarus, Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Tajikistan. The Republic of Uzbekistan has restored its membership on 16 August 2006 and suspended its participation in the Collective Security Treaty Organization again in 2012.
CSTO is a military-political organization with defensive objectives, which is open to the new members, who are committed to its objectives and principles. The organization operates on the basis of strict respect for the independence, voluntary participation, equality of rights and obligations of the member-states, non-interference in the internal affairs, which are within the domestic jurisdiction of the member states.
The main objectives and principles of the Organization are strengthening of the peace and international and regional security and stability, the collective defense of the independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty of the member states, which are achieved by primarily political means of the member-states. The member-states coordinate and harmonize their foreign policy positions on international and regional security problems, using, primarily, consultation mechanisms. The member-states join their forces in the fight against international terrorism, religious extremism, illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, weapons, transnational organized crime, illegal migration and other threats to the security of the member-states.
In accordance with the Charter, CSTO bodies are:
- Collective Security Council (CSC) – the supreme body, which includes the heads of the member-states. The Board considers the fundamental issues of Organization activity and makes the decisions aimed at achieving its goals and objectives. It also provides coordination and joint activity of the member-states on achieving these goals.
- The Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) – the consultative and executive body for the coordination of the cooperation between member states in the field of foreign policy;
- The Council of Ministers of Defense (CMD) – the consultative and executive body for the coordination of military policy, military construction and military-technical cooperation between the member-states.
- The Committee of Secretaries of Security Councils (CSSC) – the consultative and executive body for the coordination of the cooperation between member states in their national security.
- The Organization Secretary General – the chief administrative officer of the Organization, which provides a guidance of the Secretariat of the Organization. The Organization Secretary General is appointed by the CSC from among the citizens of the member-states and reports to the Council.
- The Secretariat of the Organization – the permanent working body of the Organization, which provides an organized, informational, analytical and advisory support for the activities of the Organization.
- CSTO Joint Staff – permanent working body of the Organization and CSTO CMD, which is responsible for the preparation of proposals and implementation of solutions for the military component of the CSTO.
On 2 December 2004, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution, which granted the Collective Security Treaty Organization observer status in the UN General Assembly.
On March 18, 2010 a Joint Declaration on Cooperation was signed by the United Nations Secretariat and the CSTO.
The Organization may cooperate with non-member states, maintain relations with international intergovernmental organizations in security area. It is competent to make international treaties with them, aimed at establishing and developing this cooperation. At present, active measures on establishing cooperation with such organizations as the UN, OSCE, SCO, CIS, EurAsEC and OIC are taken within the framework of the CSTO. Establishing dialogue with NATO is seen as possible.
The basis of the military component of the system of collective security are coalition (joint) grouping of troops (forces) in the regions, which are created to deter or repel aggression against the member states, as well as for carrying out other operations.
The CSTO Intergovernmental Commission on Military-Economic Cooperation was established in June, 2005 in order to combine and coordinate the efforts of the member-states of the Organization on further deepening and improvement of multilateral cooperation, integration and more comprehensive solution of the issues in the military-economic and military-technical cooperation within the CSTO.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Collective Security Treaty was established in November 2006. The issues of the Organization activities, situation in the Organization responsibility zone, implementation of the decisions of the CSTO Council and legal support for it are considered during the plenary meetings of the CSTO PA Council and its Standing Committee, which are held twice a year. The issues of the implementation of the Program of legal support, practicing work on the ratification of international treaties signed within the framework of the CSTO and other issues are discussed during the meetings.
Currently, the existence of the SCTO is an important factor of stability and security of the external borders of the Organization. A constant work in the framework of the CSTO can improve interstate military-political and political ties of the member-states to a qualitatively new level of a real formation of an effective system of collective security, as the political foundation of the CSTO is the similarity and coincidence of the opinions of the member-states regarding the situation in the world, the common concern for the challenges of a global and regional security.
The Republic of Tajikistan gives a great importance to the participation in the CSTO activities. Cooperation within the framework of the Organization is in the national interests of Tajikistan and allows active countering to international terrorism, religious extremism, drug trafficking and arms trafficking, illegal migration and in general providing security and stability in the wide region of Eurasia, as well as the territorial integrity and independence of the member-states of the Organization. Tajikistan stands for CSTO becoming the significant factor in ensuring security.
The Republic of Tajikistan believes that immediate and important tasks of the CSTO are the intensification of the military-political integration of the CSTO member-states, the coordination of the CSTO member-states capacities and the improvement of the member-states in the area of defense policy, military construction and military-technical cooperation.