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Is the Collective Security Treaty Organization the Real Anti-NATO?

Richard Weitz Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2008

Although Western attention has focused on the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as a potential threat to Western influence in Eurasia, another institution, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), currently represents a more serious near-term challenge.

Last October, the leaders of the CSTO convened one of their most important summits in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan. The assembled presidents and senior staff reached several important decisions that testify to the CSTO's expanding regional security ambitions. First, they adopted procedures formally authorizing members to conduct joint peacekeeping operations. Second, by reaffirming Moscow's willingness to sell arms to its CSTO allies on a subsidized basis, Russia has enhanced its dominant position in regional security affairs. Finally, the CSTO principals agreed to establish formal security ties with the SCO, creating the potential for substantial security cooperation between the two institutions for years to come. ...

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