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CSTO reform in the works

September 06, 2011, 11:01 UTC+3

Russia intends to begin transformation of the CSTO, a military bloc in the post-Soviet space under Moscow's patronage

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MOSCOW, September 6 (Itar-Tass) — "Kommersant" publishes the article titled "CSTO Is Turning to Face NATO" which addressed the reform of the Collective Security Treaty Organization Russia is preparing.

Russia intends to begin transformation of the CSTO, a military bloc in the post-Soviet space under Moscow's patronage, the newspaper said. According to the reform plan, the CSTO must give up decision-making by consensus, and become the key peacekeeper in the post-Soviet space while beginning to develop partnership relations with NATO.

Moscow has recently begun to pay more attention to the CSTO under the influence of events in North Africa, and the pullout of the IAF forces from Afghanistan scheduled for 2014.

The newspaper believes the proposals prepared by the Modern Development Institute (INSOR) where Dmitry Medvedev is head of the board of guardians, may make groundwork for the transformation of this military bloc. Chairman of INSOR's board Igor Yurgens told the "Kommersant" that ISOR's proposals boil down to the three key points. Firstly, it suggests reforming the CSTO's decision-making by consensus. ISOR suggests amending the Charter's provision on decision-making to a simple majority. Yurgens acknowledges that the key problem to turn the CSTO into an effective organization is the special position which Uzbekistan takes almost on any issue.

"In the light of the upcoming withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan in 2014, we have to decide which is more important for us: President Karimov's special opinion, or the security of Russia and its neighbors - Tajikistan and Kazakhstan," he explained. "It's obvious that nobody will need the CSTO in the capacity of discussion club. Russia and its partners have this understanding. Consequently, a new decision-making system is required," Yurgens said.

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