Head of CSTO Joint Staff highlights ‘tense’ situation in its ‘zone of responsibility,’ both on western borders, in Central Asia
The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) forces will hold joint military exercises in Kyrgyzstan later this year, head of the CSTO Joint Staff Anatoly Sidorov said on Tuesday.
Speaking at a news conference in Moscow, Sidorov said the Unbreakable Brotherhood-2023 drill is part of the complex joint exercises Combat Brotherhood-2023, which also includes training of mixed groups of forces Interaction-2023, reconnaissance drill Search-2023, and nuclear, biological, and chemical protection drill Barrier-2023.
The Collective Security Treaty Organization is an intergovernmental military alliance in Eurasia consisting of six post-Soviet states: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan.
Initially, the military exercises had to take place in Armenia, but in January this year, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced that he deems exercises “unjustified” because the CSTO countries refused to condemn Azerbaijan’s actions in the Karabakh region.
Commenting on Armenia’s decision, Sidorov said: “It is the right of any state — depending on the situation, it may invite (holding a drill), or may ask to hold it elsewhere.”
He added that if “the situation requires the involvement of forces and means of the collective security system in the Caucasus region,” the CSTO “will be ready to lend a shoulder to its ally” Armenia.
Sidorov called “tense” the situation in the CSTO “zone of responsibility,” both on the western borders and in Central Asia.
In the West, threats are created by the advancement of NATO’s offensive infrastructure to the borders of Belarus and Russia, and the growth of the alliance’s military activities, accompanied by aggressive rhetoric from the Baltic states.
Another challenge is the situation in Ukraine, as the country was turned by the West into an “anti-Russian springboard,” and Kyiv “lost its independence” and has become a US “battering ram” against Russia, he said.
He added that deliveries of Western weapons are pushing Ukraine into “a debt pit,” and the goal of such deliveries is … “the maximum possible postponement of the completion of a special military operation.”
According to him, there is no need at this stage for the CSTO countries to join Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine.
In Central Asia, threats emanate from the presence of extremists in Afghanistan, the “destabilizing” policy of the Taliban, contradictions within the movement, the degradation of the economic situation, and the aggravation of humanitarian problems in the country, he noted.
Uncontrolled drug trafficking and illegal proliferation of weapons increase the likelihood of Afghanistan’s return to civil war, he said.
Iran’s likely retaliation to the attacks on its drone production facilities in Isfahan will also lead to further aggravation in the region, he said.
Source: AA News