“The enemy is henceforth always external”

How the first mission of the CSTO peacekeepers will take place in Kazakhstan The CSTO peacekeeping mission has begun to deploy in Kazakhstan. The decision has not yet been approved by the Kyrgyz parliament. Nevertheless, this operation can prove the real legal capacity of the organization, the expert points out

An Il-76 plane with Russian servicemen, part of the CSTO Collective Peacekeeping Forces, on board flies from the Chkalovsky airfield to Kazakhstan

The first CSTO peacekeepers

On Thursday, January 6, the military of the CSTO Collective Peacekeeping Forces began to deploy the work of the CSTO Collective Peacekeeping Forces in Kazakhstan (Organization of the Collective Security Treaty, which includes Armenia, Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan). For the CSTO peacekeepers, this is the first mission since the creation of the forces in 2009.

Although a memorandum of understanding was signed between the CSTO and the UN in 2012, the peacekeepers of the six countries were not involved either in UN operations or in operations on the territory of the countries & mdash; members of the organization. In 2010, in the post-revolutionary period in Kyrgyzstan, the interim head of state, Roza Otunbayeva, came up with an initiative to send peacekeepers to the south of the country, but the organization did not receive the consent of the organization. This time, the consent of the heads of state of all countries was obtained in a few hours. On the evening of January 5, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced the decision to send peacekeepers, his country presides over the organization. Pashinyan himself several times called on the CSTO to provide assistance to his country during the conflict with Azerbaijan in Karabakh, but no formal request was sent. The request of the President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev was considered promptly and satisfied. The reason for the intervention in accordance with Article 4 of the treaty was the “ threat to the national security and sovereignty of the Republic of Kazakhstan, caused, among other things, by interference from the outside, '' the Armenian prime minister said.

The involvement of the CSTO peacekeepers & mdash; a milestone in the development of the entire post-Soviet space, I am sure the editor-in-chief of the magazine “ Russia in Global Affairs '' Fedor Lukyanov. “ The threat of a collapse of public administration in one of the member countries, associated with internal reasons (the accumulation of structural socio-political imbalances in combination with a protracted and more ornate transit of power), it was decided, without any hesitation and thought, to interpret it as the aggression of 'terrorist gangs' ; from the outside. The enemy is henceforth always external, even if inside, '', & mdash; Lukyanov points out.

President Tokayev announced that Kazakhstan is being attacked by international terrorist gangs, whose attack should be regarded as an act of aggression. Although before that he called the government of Kazakhstan responsible for the increase in gas prices, which is why the protests began on January 2. On January 6, representatives of the CSTO were already developing the thesis of external aggression. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the events in Kazakhstan & mdash; it is an “ externally inspired attempt to undermine the security and integrity of the state by force using trained and organized armed formations. ''

What will the peacekeepers do

In the official messages of the CSTO and the member states about the dispatch of the contingent, it is indicated that they are sent for a limited period, but the timing is not named. The goal is to stabilize and normalize the situation. The message of the CSTO secretariat indicates that the main tasks of the forces will be the protection of important state and military facilities, assistance to the law enforcement forces of Kazakhstan in stabilizing the situation and returning it to the legal field.

“ It is difficult, of course, to speak reliably, because we have not seen these agreements. It seems to me that, first of all, peacekeepers will be used at some security posts, that is, they will not be thrown into the front line and into cities. Their task will be to remove secondary, auxiliary functions from the units of the Kazakh army and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which, in turn, can be released in order to be engaged in restoring order '', & mdash; said RBC expert of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) Andrei Frolov.

“ Today they said that the operation could take a month, but this is still written with a pitchfork on the water, '' & mdash; added Frolov. The expert noted that the main result of the CSTO peacekeeping mission will be that there will be no dead or wounded among the contingent and order will be restored in the country. “ The CSTO will demonstrate for the first time that it is an organization that is not only engaged in regular exercises and has some kind of secretariat, but can also perform real tasks for which it was created, '' & mdash; he concluded.

The arrival of the CSTO troops will force part of the bureaucracy, including the power one, lost in the New Year's crisis and in a situation of dual power and not very supportive of Tokayev, to change its position, and may also freeze the revolutionary situation, HSE professor Andrei Kazantsev believes.

Who will enter to the peacekeeping mission

The CSTO report also indicated that the armed forces of all six countries were included in the peacekeeping forces. From Russia & mdash; subdivisions and military units of the Airborne Forces. Difficulties arose with the participation of a unit from Kyrgyzstan. In accordance with Articles 2 and 4 of the Collective Security Treaty, the decision to send the collective security forces is made by the heads of the participating states in accordance with the Kyrgyz Constitution, and the resolution on each case of sending units of the armed forces outside the republic is made by the parliament. On January 6, the parliament was unable to consider this issue, the number of deputies required for a quorum was not reached, a second attempt will be made on January 7. Former Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Felix Kulov also drew attention to the fact that in order to consider this issue, the Kyrgyz parliament must have a clear understanding and proof that there is a real threat to Kazakhstan. “ Enough for this statement of the President of Kazakhstan without a confirmation decision of the Kazakh parliament & mdash; such a question will certainly arise when discussing & raquo;, & mdash; Kulov expressed confidence. In his opinion, when sending the military to Kyrgyzstan, it is necessary to achieve a clear understanding that they will not enter into forceful contacts with the population, but will only be engaged in the protection of strategic objects.

From Belarus on the evening of January 6 to Kazakhstan on five Il -76 fighters of the 103rd airborne Vitebsk brigade of special operations forces took off. As the head of the country's Defense Ministry Viktor Khrenin specified, all are contractors.

In Armenia, Pashinyan's decision to send Armenian servicemen was criticized by some opposition representatives. Thus, the deputy of the opposition bloc “ Armenia '' Andranik Tevanyan wrote that the prime minister did not send servicemen to the places of clashes with the Azerbaijani army, preferring instead to defend order in Kazakhstan. Former Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Armenia, member of the opposition Republican Party of Armenia, Eduard Sharmazanov, noted that Pashinyan came to power as a result of protests in 2018 and now opposes his “ Kazakh revolutionary brothers. '' In other CSTO countries, the decision of the authorities' representatives criticized the decision.

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