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Eurasian Security Institutions: The CSTO and SCO

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Perhaps the most surprising feature of the protracted crisis in Kyrgyzstan is what has not happened: Neither of Eurasia's two preeminent regional security institutions, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), have coordinated a military intervention in that country.

The mass protests, deaths, and refugee crisis involving perhaps 1 million people has represented one of the most acute challenges to Eurasian stability in the history of either organization, both of which were founded almost a decade ago. In mid-June 2010, the Kyrgyz interim authorities even directly appealed for Russian military intervention on their behalf, but Moscow declined to act military -- either unilaterally or within the framework of either the CSTO or the SCO. Both organizations have offered primarily verbal support and limited humanitarian assistance to their beleaguered member state. Despite expectations, neither organization has yet become a modern version of the Warsaw Pact, using military and police power to keep its client regimes in power. ...

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