Russian army no longer valid in CSTO. What's next?

CSTO Summit in the Kremlin / CSTO summit

Euroradio asked historian and political scientist Roza Turarbekova to answer the most popular questions about the CSTO. 

"Armenia is basically in isolation"

The expert explained why the President of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, refused to sign the final declaration of CSTO, but despite his disappointment with the organization, cannot withdraw his country from it.

"I am surprised this did not happen earlier, such a demarche of Armenia against the CSTO. Armenia's repeated appeals to the CSTO for help went unheeded, and no assistance was provided. Political assessments were not in the format Armenia needed.

So this was the only possible step that Pashinyan had to take.

But why doesn't Armenia leave the bloc? Much of this has to do with Vladimir Putin's influence. After all, Russia was one of the providers of the peaceful settlement of the conflict and still remains the guarantor of security for Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Nikol Pashinyan / Russian presidential press service

"Therefore, to refuse such a strategic partner and not get another means to expose yourself to even greater danger and risk of attack by Azerbaijan. Armenia is actually in isolation in the region".

Why is Tokayev so bold?

In the presence of Vladimir Putin, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev calls the war in Ukraine a war. Why is he so bold?

"Tokayev is an experienced diplomat; he subtly senses the international situation and adheres to things that are fundamental from the standpoint of international law, strengthening Kazakhstan's position. Both in the international arena and the eyes of the PRC.

What may seem bold to you is the logical behavior of the Kazakh president. Kazakhstan has never fallen under sanctions, neither from the EU nor the United States.

Kazakhstan has successfully distanced itself from the war from Russian aggression. Kazakhstan didn't refuse the Russians who fled from mobilization. I have not heard of any serious difficulties for them there.

In general, it is a very moderate player. So far, Tokayev has managed to hold this moderate position, not calling fire on himself too much but consistently expressing his position.  

Who cannot survive without the CSTO?

Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan can feel at ease outside the CSTO, Turarbekova said.

"They have their peculiar relations with Russia. Moreover, the CSTO has taken a rather strange stance on the Kyrgyz-Tajik conflict. And this was also a disappointment, and Kyrgyzstan made a definite demarche by refusing to host the exercises. Overall, the CSTO is bursting at the seams".  

Why is Lukashenka so worried about the CSTO?

Next year, Belarus will take over the CSTO chairmanship. But Turarbekova says this doesn't change anything, as the organization's future depends not on Belarus but on Russia.

"The future of the CSTO depends on how the war ends. The presidency of Belarus doesn't solve anything.

Putin doesn't need Aliaksandr Lukashenka to influence the CSTO countries. The argument in the CSTO was the Russian army. And it is dying now. And the allies understand this. Therefore, the criticism will become louder and louder.

Still, Lukashenka is obviously concerned about the fate of the CSTO.

"He cares that the anti-Western front will keep its ranks united. But that is not the question for the Central Asian countries. Aliaksandr Lukashenka's problems do not concern them".

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