First results of CSTO Summit

8 November 2018

The key question of the day is how the Eurasian military-political alliance will react to new threats and challenges. In particular, the US statement on withdrawal from the Treaty on Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles, large-scale NATO exercises with an ambiguous "legend" in Norway, an increase in terrorist and extremist activity in Central Asia, Afghanistan and North Africa. The agenda also includes reaction to trade wars and aggression in cyberspace, and what is important for Belarus, is the introduction into CSTO practice of the developments of large Minsk security forums. including recent “Munich format” and OSCE conferences.

Experts point out that the last 24 months that have passed under the chairmanship of Belarus and Kazakhstan have been the most stressful since Soviet Union time.

By the way, official Astana has set digital security as one of the main priorities for its year of leadership in the CSTO, and Kyrgyzstan, the future chair of the organization, will continue the tradition.

In total, the summit’s agenda includes a little more than 20 issues - the majority was agreed on the day before.

Another challenge for the CSTO is the annulment of agreements on medium and shorter-range missiles. The withdrawal from the treaty announced by Trump will nullify all balances of tactical and strategic weapons in Europe. The problem was recently discussed in Minsk in the Munich format. There is no solution yet, this, alas, is another argument in favor of a new arms race.

At the first stage, the organization’s response will be the strengthening of the internal structure, the creation of a Crisis Response Center and the Interdepartmental Commission on Military Economic Cooperation.