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Post-Soviet security bloc CSTO postpones drills in Kyrgyzstan — security official

As stated in the Security Council of the republic, the postponement of the exercises does not mean that Kyrgyzstan rejects the CSTO

BISHKEK, October 14. /TASS/. A military exercise of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in Kyrgyzstan has been postponed to a later date, National Security Council’s Chairman Marat Imankulov said on Thursday.

"We have rescheduled it for a later date. We were 99.9% ready to hold it," the security official was quoted as saying by the Kyrgyz government’s press office. "Now, people on social networks are saying that we are rejecting the CSTO by doing so, but no, not at all."

"The CSTO is vital for us. It gives us full protection against terrorist threats and [the membership] conforms to our country’s national security interests. Certain forces are trying to pit us against [other] CSTO members, but they will fail. There have been no issues between us," Imankulov was quoted as saying.

According to the official, the secretariat of the six-member security alliance "responded with understanding to the Kyrgyz government’s decision to reschedule the Issyk Kul exercises due for October."

The Indestructible Brotherhood - 2022 military exercise was scheduled to take place between October 10 and 14 in Kyrgyzstan’s Issyk Kul Region. However, the Kyrgyz government refused to hold the event a few days before its planned start. The republic’s deputy prime minister, Edil Baisalov, said the decision was made due to the recent armed conflict on the border with Tajikistan, which is also a CSTO member. "We have no problems with this organization, with its mandate, mission and charter," he said.

Tensions rose on the Tajik-Kyrgyz border on September 14. According to Bishkek, Tajik border guards crossed the border in the Bulak-Bashy area of Kyrgyzstan’s Batken District on Wednesday and "took up combat positions." In response to Kyrgyz troops’ demand to leave the territory, Tajik border guards opened fire and a shootout ensued. On September 17, Kyrgyz border guards reported a shelling attack on the Osh Region. On September 19, the heads of the two states’ national security committees signed a bilateral resolution to withdraw troops from the border area. Kyrgyzstan reported that 62 people were killed and about 200 injured in the conflict.