|CSTO, REGIONAL SECURITY GUARANTOR
MOSCOW. (Nikolai Bordyuzha for RIA Novosti)
In the 15 years since the establishment of the Commonwealth of Independent
States (CIS) in place of the former Soviet Union, several other
organizations have been established in the region. Some people ask if the
CIS would hand over some of its functions to them.
I can assure you that the regional states bordering on each other must
have an organization that would allow them to interact and coordinate
their political actions, especially given the vast number of problems
facing the CIS.
True, the CIS could be much more effective, and the reasons for missing
this goal are being discussed now. There is a chance that the CIS would
handle only general matters, leaving practical problems with EurAsEC (an
economic organization that comprises the Central Asian nations plus Russia
and Belarus) and CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organization).
Since its establishment in October 2002, the CSTO has become a key factor
of regional stability and an efficient element of CIS integration. It is
closely cooperating with EurAsEC, because economy is unthinkable without
security, or security without economy. There is a practical need for the
two organizations to be maximally integrated to mutual benefit.
Acting alongside EurAsEC, the CSTO is tackling migration problems. EurAsEC
is mostly concerned with the issues pertaining to labor migrants
(accounting, registration procedure, management of migration processes),
while the CSTO is dealing with illegal immigration into the CIS.
There are arguments for and against the merger of the two organizations. I
think such a new structure would be too big and clumsy, creating problems
that would hinder prompt reaction to changes in the situation. On the
other hand, their merger would allow us to remove overlapping and cut the
staff. I am not ready to say what variant will be more expedient, as all
pros and contras should be thoroughly considered.
Everyone recognizes the efficiency of the CSTO, which is gaining a growing
respect of other international organizations. In my opinion, no country
can rout terrorism or the drug industry acting on its own; this is a task
that calls for the concerted efforts of all countries and international
The CSTO maintains contacts with the Regional Anti-terrorist Center of the
Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and today we are coordinating a
broad-based protocol of CSTO-SCO cooperation. This is important for us
because Central Asian security is one of our key goals. I think our
relations with colleagues in the regions are progressing quite well.
Bilateral relations are gaining in strength. Uzbekistan’s recent
decision to regain CSTO membership will dramatically change the
geopolitical lineup of forces in Central Asia and all other post-Soviet
countries. As a CSTO member, Uzbekistan will act in coordination with
other member states, which should improve the effectiveness of
anti-terrorist and anti-extremist operations. By 2008, Uzbekistan should
complete an accelerated procedure of joining the nearly 70 international
treaties and agreements within the CSTO.
The organization has become a full member of the international security
system, whose efficiency largely depends on the ability of member states
to undertake coordinated action and harmonize their foreign policies.
We do not want to become a military-political alliance, but a universal
international organization that would be able to react promptly and
effectively to any threats and challenges.
The CSTO’s contacts with NATO have been halted, not at our initiative.
We are not dramatizing the situation, because relations with the bloc are
not a priority for us. In my opinion, the main goal is to promote
cooperation with the UN structures, above all its Counter-Terrorism
Colonel General Nikolai Bordyuzha (Ret.), graduate of the Perm School of
Commanders/Engineers and the Higher Military Counter-Intelligence Course;
deputy commander of the Russian Frontier Forces (1992-1998); deputy
director, director of the Federal Frontier Service (January-September
1998); Secretary of the Russian Security Council (September 1998 to March
1999) and simultaneously head of the Presidential Administration (from
December 1998); Ambassador to Denmark (December 1999 to April 2003);
General Secretary of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (from
April 2003). He holds orders of Courage and Friendship.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and may not
necessarily represent the opinions of the editorial board. -0-