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Troubled present and uncertain future of the CSTO
Material posted: Publication date: 15-04-2017
The CSTO has finally elected a new Secretary General of the organization. From now on, the military-political Union of Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan headed by Secretary of national security Council of Armenia, the former head of the General staff, Colonel-General Yuri Khachaturov. The new Secretary General is a professional soldier, with experience in combat operations in Afghanistan and Nagorno-Karabakh.

According to Armenian media reports, a year ago Yerevan promoted to the post of ex-Minister of defense Seyran Ohanyan.

However, the Minister chose to start his political activities in opposition to the existing government of Armenia. In the end, being unable to get into the Parliament (headed by the block is gained in the recent elections only 2.07% of votes), former Minister lost his honorary positions abroad. Actually losing this post Hachaturova, which, according to the Armenian media, it was the years of conflict when he was defense Minister.

Both retired from their posts last year Armenian media and experts have explained the flaws in the training, equipping and leadership of the Armed forces, who identified the April "four-day war" in Nagorno Karabakh.

It should be noted that the representative of Armenia c nearly eighteen-month delay failed to obtain approval on this post. The leaders of the CSTO member States in September 2015 decided that the post of Secretary General of the organization will be rotating on the basis of the Russian alphabet. But immediately problems began, which clearly prodemonstrirovali problems with the unity within the CSTO. First, in December 2015, the number of countries of the organization refused to support the appointment of a representative of Armenia on the background of the Russian-Turkish conflict over the downed su-24. Considering that it would look like an openly hostile move against Turkey. After the normalization of relations between Moscow and Ankara, it was expected that the CSTO Secretary General is approved during a meeting of the collective security Council of the CSTO in September 2016 Yerevan. However, this time, according to the official version, the election of the representative of Armenia was prevented by the absence at the summit in Yerevan of President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev because of a sudden illness. But according to unofficial information of Kazakhstan, having close relations with Azerbaijan, especially began to obstruct on this issue.

And in December last year to elect a new Secretary General prevented the problems in relations between Russia and Belarus. Alexander Lukashenko as a means to influence Moscow began to sabotage an important meeting in the framework of the CSTO and the EAEC. However, a loan of one billion dollars, issued to Minsk, has led not only to Lukashenka's signing of the Customs code of the EAEU, but probably made the Belarusian leader accommodating in other matters. The evidence of which was the long awaited approval of the new Secretary General of the CSTO.

As for expectations of Yerevan this purpose, although the representatives of Armenia in the coming years will preside in CSTO and the Eurasian economic Commission, but they are unlikely too eager to lobby the interests of Armenia. Especially given the consensus principle of decision-making in these organizations and the presence in their ranks is closely related with Azerbaijan and Turkey States.

Of course, Khachaturov, like Tigran Sargsyan, I will try to be more attentive to issues of concern to Armenia, but there are limits beyond which they will not be allowed to cross, focusing more on achieving the collective development goals of the EEU and the CSTO, rather than a purely Armenian.
Therefore, it is necessary to notice that the election Khachaturov by CSTO Secretary General comes not only from the interests of Armenia and Russia. For which it is important that on such an important post of the representative of Russia was replaced by the man from the country who is also interested in development of CSTO and turn it into a real military-political Alliance.

It's one thing when the lack of support from its allies complains Armenia (it is more important than relations with Moscow and not with other members of the CSTO), and another thing the leader of Russia. And as shown by the conflict with Ukraine and Turkey, the UN vote on the Crimea (from the CSTO Moscow supported only Minsk and Yerevan), or a very recent vote on Syria in the UN security Council (Kazakhstan abstained), she has serious problems with ensuring the unity of the CSTO and the EAEC.

No coincidence that he regularly criticized the CSTO allies Armenia's President Serzh Sargsyan cited as an example for the organization of the support given to Turkey during the conflict with Russia and her allies. When it was supported even Greece, which has, to put it mildly, not very good relations with Turkey.

And even the development of military components of the CSTO in recent years: Collective rapid reaction force (KSOR), Collective peacekeeping force Collective rapid deployment forces of Central Asian region of Collective aviation forces without unity in the ranks of the members of the organization, does not really matter. And in many ways Russia's leadership in the post-Soviet space will depend on whether she will be able to solve this problem in the framework of the CSTO and the EAEC.

While the CSTO only "club" in which participants divided into three groups: Western (Russia and Belarus), Caucasus (Russia and Armenia) and Central Asian (Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan). And if Moscow is not able to obtain from their allies at least the same support as the United States from its allies in NATO, CSTO threatens to repeat the fate of the CIS. The organization will be unable to promote and protect the interests of its members, and will confine myself to combating terrorism and drug trafficking, does not require complicated foreign policy decisions.

Hayk Khalatyan


Tags: Russia , CSTO , Armenia

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