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The CSTO Session and Its Importance for Armenia

To summarize the activities of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in 2015 the leaders of the Member States of the structure gathered in the capital of Tajikistan - Dushanbe, the chairing country of the CSTO. The current session of the Collective Security Council is of great interest for us in some aspects: 1. development of the military component of the organization; 2. Armenia assuming the presidency of the CSTO; 3. internal reforms of the structure.

Let’s discuss them separately.

Development of the Military Component of CSTO: At the session the heads of the CSTO Member States agreed on a number of important issues relating to the development of the military component of the organization. In particular, decision was made on the creation of collective air forces (Collective air forces and their placement), the necessity of which has repeatedly stressed by the Republic of Armenia.

It is noteworthy that a particular attention was paid to the issues of communication, in particular transportation of military and other units and movable property, as well as military products, and others. It should be noted that this issue is of particular importance for the Republic of Armenia, which has no common borders with the other countries of CSTO. For the sake of functioning of this sector an agreement on cooperation in the field of transportation of military and other units and movable property, as well as military products was signed. This agreement presupposes cooperation for planning and organizing a transit both through the territories of CSTO Member States, as well as through the territories of non-member ones.

It should be noted that long-term policy planning has already been rooted in the CSTO. A manifestation of this is the maintainance of the program on “activities for implementing the main directions of development of military cooperation between the CSTO Member States until 2020", which was stressed by the heads of the CSTO countries.

Armenia assuming the presidency of the CSTO: It is no secret that Armenia is one of the most active and initiating countries for the development of the structure. Naturally, this is due to the fact that this structure is one of the most important mechanisms for ensuring Armenia's security, so its development and improvement are of great importance for Armenia. With this in mind, one can foresee that the presidency of Armenia will be quite effective for the CSTO. The speech of the RA President Serzh Sargsyan, who presented the priorities of Armenia's presidency in CSTO, gives such confidence.

- Further development of the conceptual framework and crisis response system;

- Institutional aspects of enhancing the effectiveness of the CSTO, including the issues of improving foreign policy coordination and cooperation with other international organizations;

- Further improvement of the management system of the CSTO collective security forces and resources, including the collective rapid response forces and the united regional forces;

- Strengthening its peacekeeping capacity, deepening military-technical and military-economic cooperation, optimization of logistics component, transit and transport.

The Armenian side, assuming the presidency, has already submitted practical proposals. In particular, RA President proposed the establishment of a base organization for training the CSTO peacekeepers, as a foundation of that base organization, recommending to consider the Peacekeeping Training Center of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia. 

Given the almost 10 years of experience of Armenia in this sphere within the framework of various missions, such an initiative is quite realistic and can give impetus to the development of CSTO peacekeeping forces. Moreover, the Armenian side has also offered to host in 2016 Armenian conference devoted to the problems of cyber security of the CSTO with the latest information technology. Activation of the structure in recent years in the field of cyber security gives grounds to assume that such an initiative is demanded. Besides, the Armenian President proposed to begin to develop and already in 2016 to adopt the strategy of the CSTO Collective Security until 2025, which will be an important factor in the development and full establishment of the structure.

 

Internal reforms of the structure: Recently, the approach that the CSTO has already passed a long way of formation and has reached to such a state that the it needs certain reforms to make it more effective, has been widely spread. Perhaps, you can consider the decision to apply a rotating mechanism for the position of the Secretary General can be seen in the framework of this logic. Such a change, on one hand, will prevent possible stagnation of the structure, on the other hand, will increase its efficiency.

 Summing up the session of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, we can note that each year the structure becomes stronger, it more broadens and deepens the cooperation between the Member Countries. In such conditions, we hope, that thanks to the initiative of the Armenian side (especially during its presidency) in the autumn of 2016, at the next session of the Collective Security Treaty Organization in Yerevan, the leaders of the CSTO Member States wil with satisfaction note the new and tangible achievements of the structure. 


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