Observer and partner designations at CSTO likely intended to facilitate Azeri membership, increasing war risks in Nagorno-Karabakh

24 August 2018


On 20 August 2018, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a military alliance uniting Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan, issued a statement noting that the CSTO Secretariat held consultations in Moscow on 16-17 August, focused on the creation of two special designations within the organisation – that of a CSTO Observer and a CSTO Partner.

The participants reached consensus and agreed to include this item in the agendas of the upcoming meetings of CSTO bodies at higher levels, including that of the heads of state (Council of Collective Security). In a parallel development, on 16 August, the Azeri pro-government web portal held public discussion related to Azerbaijan’s possible CSTO accession, in which the Head of the Russian-Azeri Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation Group and Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs Ali Huseinli supported Azerbaijan’s entry into the CSTO given the “new geopolitical circumstances.” To date, the CSTO has had no designated status for prospective observer or partner nations.

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