Kazakhstan will be carrying the mantle of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), widely seen as post-Soviet Russia’s response to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, from 2018-19. During this time, Moscow expects Astana to further the security bloc’s development through multilateral diplomacy and relationship-building, in order to strengthen CSTO’s ability to respond to threats in Eurasia.
“We expect that during [Kazakhstan’s] chairmanship, active efforts will be continued to further develop the CSTO [and] to build up the capacities to counter traditional and new challenges and threats,” said Sergey Neverov, a deputy chairman of the Russian State Duma, while addressing the International Inter-Parliamentary Conference that was held in Astana on Monday, according to reports by Kazakhstan’s Atameken Business Channel.
As Central Asia’s largest country and economy, of the Central Asian region, Kazakhstan is going to lead the military alliance in the period of 2018-19. Belarus currently chairs the six-member CSTO, and will pass the baton to Kazakhstan at an end-of-the-year meeting held in Minsk on November 30. Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev will be in attendance and is expected to address his vision for the forthcoming year as Kazakhstan is at the helm.
The CSTO aims to boost political ties, fight terrorism and extremism collectively, as well as the illicit trafficking of drugs and weapons. Along with Russia, Kazakhstan was a founder of CSTO, which was set up in 1992 and currently includes Russia, Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Armenia and Belarus.
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