Earlier this week Secretary General of the CSTO Nikolay Bordyuzha has arrived with two-day visit to Astana to discuss with the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, presiding in the organization, the agenda of the forthcoming summit, which will take place in Moscow at the end of the current year. Officially we are talking about large-scale construction project on the territory of Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan military factories. The initiator of this idea is the Russian side which, apparently, plans to establish a permanent control over the implementation of this initiative.
Meanwhile, many experts noted that the CSTO is bursting at the seams. This summer about their willingness to leave the block of Uzbekistan said. In Uzbek Foreign Ministry's decision to withdraw from the CSTO explained the contradictions on the Afghan issue. However, the real reasons most likely lie much deeper. Uzbekistan may be followed by Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Russia's relations with these republics in recent times became more difficult.
What are the real prospects of the CSTO? And why now the question arose on the construction of military factories? With these questions, we turned to Sergei Grinyaev, doctor of technical Sciences, General Director of the Center for strategic estimates and projections.
- In the CIS countries will be created, most likely, enterprises producing small arms and possibly armored weapons. We are not talking about high-tech manufacturing aircraft and modern air defenses – to create these hi-tech samples of Wept in the CIS countries today do not have the necessary qualified personnel, - says the expert. – If to speak broadly, the question of arms supplies has always been one of the main in relations with the CSTO partners. Russia has always placed a reproach that it supplies to allies weapons more than it does NATO, which can afford to give part of their own discarded weapons, or build new at a significant discount.
"SP": - And now it is planned to construct factories for the production of obsolete weapons?
- These are the realities of today. The fact is that in recent years the Russian military-political leadership has repeatedly stated that many Russian artillery systems do not meet modern requirements, and for the Russian armed forces need to buy foreign weapons. This put the weapon manufacturers in a difficult situation. Promotion to the markets of the CIS countries can be a kind of outlet for them in the circumstances. Therefore, the construction of defense plants on the territory of member countries of the CSTO is largely a forced measure.
Note, however, that the formation of own military-industrial complex in the countries, most of which lies in a volatile region of Central Asia, in the medium term to have a negative impact on the growth of tensions in the region. Perhaps such a development, when a part of the manufactured weapons will fall into the hands of members of anti-government organizations in the region. But a General trend towards Islamization of many countries in the region it also does not add optimism.
"SP": - this year the CSTO was 10 years old, and the Treaty on collective security of 20. How would you describe the jubilee?
Anniversary came out not so funny – the last time on the organization was more and more dark clouds of distrust and scepticism.
"SP": - Why?
- The fact that the main idea in the development stage of this organization was the desire to maintain a system of location, and most importantly - the control system remains Armed Forces of the USSR. But as time went on, the state strengthened in its independence, formed their own perception of foreign policy priorities and our own vision for the future of their country. In new conditions the CSTO began to oppress some of its members. As a result, by the beginning of the XXI century, a critical mass of discontent led to the crisis in the CSTO. In 1999, a number of States refused to sign a new contract (this was not without the participation of the West) by creating a custom block with a clear anti-Russian orientation – GUAM (Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldova).
"SP": - the Growing dissatisfaction with our partners, the split in the CSTO would not have been possible without miscalculations by the Russian leadership. What was the main error of the Kremlin?
- Russia, which supported the US in their supposedly (as it turned out a decade later) the fight against terrorism, then made two strategic mistakes: she let US in strategically significant for the region and have adopted the ideology of fighting "international terrorism" as the basis for further development of the CSTO. In other words, in the eyes of regional elites, Russia has ceased to be a center of power. And at the same time became an exporter of Western values.
"SP": - You say about our support of the United States in the global counter-terrorism operations by the US and NATO in Afghanistan? But we were interested in the fight against drug trafficking and terrorism.
Then, in 2001, it was impossible to predict how "haunt" our help is in the USA. Now it is obvious that Americans have become very influential in Central Asia. As the Chinese. Subsequent events in some countries of the region have shown that Russia and the CSTO, taking responsibility in the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking, became a hostage situation. Almost all protests of the opposition, held in member countries of the Organization were given the status of the incumbent administration to terrorist and extremist activity that required the involvement of CSTO forces in the internal conflict. Same situation with drug trafficking: it is no secret that the illegal drug trade feeds many of the power elite, making the fight itself is ineffective.
"SP": - in other words, we sided with the West and thus weakened themselves?
- To some extent – Yes. In geopolitics there is no place for gratitude. Only the calculation and self-interest. Pro-American Russia's position in strategically positioning the CSTO has created a new crisis for the organization, which has been used by colleagues from NATO. NATO representatives voiced that their experts "litmus test", an indicator of the degree of the internal state of the CSTO were the events in Kyrgyzstan in April 2010. NATO waited for a response from the CSTO. And without waiting for her, took an internal decision of the organization in crisis and need to take control. What exactly was done – financing of programmes of bilateral cooperation with CSTO countries (except Russia and Belarus) for subsequent years has increased significantly, even in conditions of global economic crisis. According to NATO experts, the future of the CSTO is the Central Asian "branch" of NATO from short-term to help block in opposition in Afghanistan, a medium-term goal - in the struggle with Iran, and long – term- with China.
"SP": - There are signals that say about this scenario? What they manifest?
- This year the summer was very active for the development of the political situation in the middle East and Central Asia. This and the ongoing civil war in Syria, and the threat of U.S. military aggression against Iran, the resurgence of radical Islamic movements in the republics of Central Asia. Such a kaleidoscope of events forced the leaders of the CSTO member States to reflect on how the organization will behave in case if tomorrow the Syrian scenario will be implemented in their homes? Kyrgyzstan showed that the CSTO cannot respond in accordance with the ideology of collective security. We are talking about internal unrest rather than external aggression.
"SP": - whether the statements from the leaders of the CSTO countries?
- Said A. Lukashenko about the events in Gorno-Badakhshan in Tajikistan. According to the Belarusian President, the CSTO was necessary as-that to react to the situation in Tajikistan and the decision of Uzbekistan to suspend its membership in military-political bloc. However, in this case, as in the case of Kyrgyzstan, the position of the CSTO leadership was predictable - what is happening in Tajikistan, the processes relate to the internal life of the Republic, and does not require intervention of collective forces.
"SP": - it Turns out that collective security seems to be there, but in the new reality it doesn't work?
- The situation with the CSTO was expected – after the failure of the political project, which was CIS, was untenable and the military-political project of CSTO. In the new environment must be fundamentally different terms of Association. Think really have something. Recent developments in North Africa, the middle East and in Russia itself after the last elections showed that the technologies of information warfare, mind control, and the formation of protest movements – what is known in American military strategy under the term 4GW (fourth generation warfare), actively implemented in practice.
"SP": - the West has not put to the war, large-scale military conflict in achieving their goals?
- It is possible to assume that the future will not be wars, that were in Iraq, but will "revolution" which happened in Libya and Syria – the West is increasingly prefer to fight someone else's hands. Methods known in previous years as the "velvet revolution" or "Arab spring" will become dominant. There is every reason to believe that these transactions will be engaged in specialized units, in particular new U.S. organizational structure "Bureau of conflict and stabilisation operations military-political situation in the country" (Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO)), created in November 2011, "Bureau of counterterrorism" (Bureau of Counterterrorism) that occurred in January 2012.
"SP": - You are talking about principally new conditions of Association of countries-members of the CSTO. What do you mean?
- Speaking of new principles of Association, I mean that they should be more pragmatic, be a clear element in all parties ' interest. In particular, such a unifying moment could be the role of the CSTO as a guarantor of the solution to the water problem in Central Asia. Our Center suggested formation in Central Asia of a civilized market of water, comprising a water exchange. Russia quite on forces to act in the project as third party, and the forces of the CSTO can be used as a kind of "court bailiffs" - if someone refuses to adhere to the decision of the majority to meet the terms of the contracts, they are quite able to compel adherence to agreements.
In the future, the CSTO could transform into a military-political organization of the emerging Eurasian Union - the armed forces of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus may become of this new military force in the region.
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