What is the Collective Security Treaty Organization?

When the Soviet Union collapsed, many of the former states formed a collective security treaty organization. The signing of this treaty took place in 1992 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Although you might see news from time to time in Russia about joint military exercises between Russia and Armenia, for example, and I was vaguely aware of a military alliance, I only remember hearing the name of the Collective Security Treaty Organization for the first time yesterday, with the backdrop of unrest in Kazakhstan.

The Collective Security Treaty Organization logo.

Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokaev appealed to the Collective Security Treaty Organization yesterday for assistance as he stated that foreign-trained terrorist groups were behind the unrest around Kazakhstan.

On the evening of January 5th, Armenia President Nikol Pashinyan confirmed on his Facebook page that the Collective Security Treaty Organization would be sending a peacekeeping force to Kazakhstan. According to the news service TASS, this is the first peacekeeping mission in the history of the Collective Security Treaty Organization.

Here is the point of view of Guardian news, concerning the Kazakhstan unrest:

If you are interested in a more detailed summary of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, I recommend the history portion Wikipedia page. I read it with great fascination because again, this is not an organization that has been at the front of the news to my recollection, until now.

The reason I find this so interesting is not just because of the news from Kazakhstan but because an organization like this is certainly logical. And with rising tension between Russia and the West over Ukraine, I suspect we will be hearing more about the Collective Security Organization in the coming months.

In the Collective Security Treaty Organization, aggression against one signatory is to be perceived as aggression against all. According to the Kommersant new service, the organization members include Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan. Possibly the most notable non-member is Uzbekistan.

On a personal note, I am of course hoping for a peaceful resolution for the nation of Kazakhstan. I have been privileged to visit Kazakhstan a couple of times and it truly is a beautiful nation. And as I’ve learned something new today about this treaty organization, I am again reminded that even after 23 years here, there is still much more to learn about Russia and this part of the world.