Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO)

The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) is an intergovernmental military alliance (six countries) that came into effect in 2002. Its’ origin can be traced to the Collective Security Treaty, 1992 (Tashkent Treaty). The headquarter is located in the Russian capital of Moscow.

The Collective Security Treaty Organisation is covered under the International Relations segment of the IAS exam.

History of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation

The CSTO began out of the structure of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and initially was the Collective Security Treaty (CST). It was signed on 15 May 1992 by Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in the city of Tashkent Azerbaijan, Georgia and Belarus would later sign the treaty in 1993 and it came into effect on 20 April 1994

The CST would last for 5 years unless extended. On April 1999, 3 of the erstwhile members – Azerbaijan, Georgia and Uzbekistan, declined to sign an extension, withdrawing from the agreement as consequence. In 2002, the remaining 6 members, decided to form CSTO as a military alliance. Uzbekistan would join the GUAM group, established by Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Moldova as a balance towards Russian influence in the region

After rejoining in 2006, Uzbekistan On 28 June 2012, permanently cancelled its membership in the CSTO, 

Nikolai Bordyuzha was appointed secretary-general of the new organization. The CSTO is an observer organization at the United Nations General Assembly.

The Member States of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation

The following table gives details about the current members of the CSTO

Country Year of Entry
Armenia 1994
Belarus 1994
Kazakhstan 1994
Kyrgystan 1994
Russia 1994
Tajikistan 1994

The table below gives former members of the CSTO

Former Members of the CSTO

Country Year of Entry Year of Withdrawal
Azerbaijan 1994 1999 
Georgia 1994 1999
Uzbekistan 1994 1999 (1st Time)

2012 (2nd Time

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The objective of the CSTO

The objectives of the CSTO is to strengthen peace, international and regional security and stability, the protection on a collective basis of the independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty of the member states.

As of late, CSTO nations adopted measures to counter cybersecurity threats in a Foreign Ministers Council meeting in Minsk, Belarus. 

Latest Developments regarding the CSTO

An agreement for the formation of a Collective Rapid Reaction Force was signed between five of the CSTO members. The plans for the Collective Rapid Reaction Force was settled on June 2009. This rapid reaction force will help counter-terrorism operations, prevent drug trafficking and respond to external military aggression.

Following the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, it was widely speculated that the CSTO states would intervene in the conflict but a statement put out on October 8, 2020, by President Vladimir Putin stated that the CSTO had no intention of intervening in a territorial dispute which is internationally recognised as the part of a non-member state (Azerbaijan). However, if Azerbaijan were to violate the sovereignty of Armenia then intervention would be an action undertaken by Russia and other members of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Collective Security Treaty Organisation


What does the Collective Security Treaty Organization do?

The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) is a Russia-led military alliance of seven former Soviet states that was created in 2002. The CSTO’s purpose is to ensure the collective defence of any member that faces external aggression.

What does the CSTO charter state?

The CSTO charter reaffirmed the desire of all participating states to abstain from the use or threat of force. Signatories would not be able to join other military alliances or other groups of states,while aggression against one signatory would be perceived as an aggression against all. To this end, the CSTO holds yearly military command exercises for the CSTO nations to have an opportunity to improve inter-organization cooperation.
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