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CSTO will not deploy Iskander-M missile systems in Kazakhstan — CSTO chief

April 01, 2014, 10:23 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Generally speaking, Iskander is not the kind of weapon to counter the challenges we currently expect from Afghanistan, CSTO Secretary General Nikolai Bordyuzha says
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Iskander-M during during rehearsal of the Victory Day military parade in 2010 (archive)

Iskander-M during during rehearsal of the Victory Day military parade in 2010 (archive)

© ITAR-TASS/Maxim Nikitin

MOSCOW, April 01. /ITAR-TASS/. The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) does not intend to deploy the Iskander-M missile systems in Kazakhstan or other Central Asian states, CSTO Secretary General Nikolai Bordyuzha said in an interview with ITAR-TASS.

“We don’t intend to deploy any Iskanders. Generally speaking, Iskander is not the kind of weapon to counter the challenges we currently expect from Afghanistan,” Bordyuzha stressed.

 

Situation in Afghanistan

The CSTO secretary general highlighted the four main threats that may currently emanate from Afghanistan. “First, it is the instability zone as such. Second, it is a territory in which there are very many armed groups of various extremist organizations. Third, militant training camps. Fourth, drug trafficking,” he specified.

According to Bordyuzha, these challenges had existed when NATO contingents were conducting active operations, and they remain now. “This has not disappeared anywhere, even with the huge build-up of Western troops that had been staying there and with colossal funds that had been injected into Afghanistan. Unfortunately, all these problems have not been resolved - they will remain there,” the CSTO chief noted.

"Rather serious work is underway to boost the armed forces' potential, in particular that of the Rapid Reaction Force which can quickly intervene in this or that situation if need be," Bordyuzha told ITAR-TASS.

Also, the CSTO has been building new elements of its military potential, such as the Collective Aviation Force and Special Operations Force, Bordyuzha said.

"We've been working on the organization of joint combat training in earnest. Of course, we pay much attention to coordination of our joint activity and the fight against drug-trafficking, illegal migration, terrorism and extremism. We proceed from the plan, approved by our presidents," the CSTO secretary general said.

NATO plans to gradually withdraw its troops from in Afghanistan which have been staying in that country since 2001. By the end of this year, it will cut its troops in Afghanistan to approximately 12,000. At present, it has a 52,000-strong International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, not counting the US contingent which is not part of ISAF. Supposedly, only a contingent of instructors and NATO military advisors will remain in Afghanistan in 2015.

 

Iskander missile systems

A number of previous media reports had said that under an agreement with the Kazakh government, the Iskander-M missile systems might be deployed in Kazakhstan. They specified that Russia’s Federal Special Construction Agency (Spetsstroy) would by the end of the current year build missile system storage depots at a distance of 100 kilometres from the border with Kazakhstan.

The Iskander tactical ballistic missile system is designed for hitting ground pinpoint and area-type targets in the depth of the enemy’s operational order of battle. The system’s maximum destruction range is 500 kilometres.

Secretary General of the Collective Security Treaty Organization /CSTO/ Nikolai Bordyuzha said the Organization has a plan to resist challenges coming from Afghanistan after 2014, when the bulk of the NATO and U.S. military contingent leaves that country.

 

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