MOSCOW, October 20 (Itar-Tass) — Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has signed the Federal Law “On ratification of the Protocol on Amending the Treaty on Collective Security of May 15, 1992,” adopted by the State Duma lower house of parliament on October 7, 2011 and approved by the Federation Council upper house on 12 October 2011, the Kremlin press service reported on Thursday.
“The protocol was drafted in connection with the 2010 crisis events in the Kyrgyz Republic, which highlighted the need to improve the mechanism of the use of the force potential of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) to respond to crises and introduce amendments to the Collective Security Treaty of May 15, 1992,” the press service explained.
The Protocol amends the following articles of the Treaty:
- Article 2 in part concerning the development and implementation of measures to provide assistance to the States - Parties to the Treaty in order to neutralise the threat to their security, stability, territorial integrity and sovereignty or a threat to international peace and security;
- Article 4 in part concerning the extension of the obligations to take collective actions not only to cases of aggression, but also an armed attack that threatens the security, stability, territorial integrity and sovereignty of a State - party to the Treaty;
- Article 6 in part concerning the use in cases specified in Articles 2 and 4 of the Treaty, of the forces and means of the collective security system, also outside the territories of States - Parties to the Treaty, in the interests of international security;
- Articles 3, 5 and 11 in part concerning changes in the collective security system associated with the formation of the CSTO in 2004. The implementation of the Protocol shall not entail additional federal budget spending, as the financing of its implementation shall be made by the federal budget appropriations for the corresponding fiscal year by the concerned federal body of executive authority.
“The Federal Law is in comformity with the Constitution of the Russian Federation and is recommended for signature,” the Kremlin noted.
The Collective Security Treaty Organisation is an intergovernmental military alliance which was signed on 15 May 1992. On 7 October 2002, the Presidents of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan signed a charter in Tashkent founding the CSTO.
Nikolai Bordyuzha was appointed secretary general of the new organisation. On 23 June 2006, Uzbekistan became a full participant in the CSTO; and its membership was formally ratified by the Uzbek parliament on 28 March 2008. The CSTO is currently an observer organisation at the United Nations General Assembly.
The CSTO charter reaffirmed the desire of all participating states to abstain from the use or threat of force. Signatories would not be able to join other military alliances or other groups of states, while aggression against one signatory would be perceived as an aggression against all. To this end, the CSTO holds yearly military command exercises for the CSTO nations to have an opportunity to improve inter-organisation cooperation. The largest-scale CSTO military exercise held to date were the Rubezh 2008 exercises hosted in Armenia where a combined total of 4,000 troops from all 7 constituent CSTO member countries conducted operative, strategic, and tactical training with an emphasis towards furthering efficiency of the collective security element of the CSTO partnership. A 2011 series of training exercises has recently been held in central Asia consisting of “more than 10,000 troops and 70 combat aircraft.” The CSTO employs a “rotating presidency” system in which the country leading the CSTO alternates every year. Belarus currently has the CSTO presidency.
In June 2010, ethnic clashes broke out between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks in southern Kyrgyzstan, leading interim Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbayeva to request the assistance of Russian troops to quell the disturbances. Kurmanbek Bakiyev denied charges that his supporters were behind the ethnic conflict and called on the CSTO to intervene. Askar Akayev also called for the CSTO to send troops saying, “Our priority task right now should be to extinguish this flame of enmity. It is very likely that we will need CSTO peacekeepers to do that.” Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said that “only in the case of a foreign intrusion and an attempt to externally seize power can we state that there is an attack against the CSTO,” and that, “all the problems of Kyrgyzstan have internal roots,” while CSTO Secretary General Nikolai Bordyuzha called the violence “purely a domestic affair.” Later however Bordyuzha admitted that the CSTO response may have been inadequate and claimed that “foreign mercenaries” provoked the Kyrgyz violence against ethnic Uzbek minorities.
On July 21, 2010, interim Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbayeva called for the introduction of CSTO police units to southern Kyrgyzstan saying, “I think it’s important to introduce CSTO police forces there, since we’re unable to guarantee people’s rights on our own,” but added “I’m not seeking the CSTO’s embrace and I don’t feel like bringing them here to stay but the bloodletting there will continue otherwise.”