CSTO is better prepared to face fresh threats than NATO


RIA Novosti, Russia
May 21 2004

MOSCOW, May 21 (RIA Novosti) – Chairman of the committee for CIS
affairs and ties with compatriots of the State Duma (lower house)
Andrei Kokoshin believes that the Collective Security Treaty
Organisation (or CSTO, which includes Russia, Belarus, Armenia,
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan) is better prepared for
countering the threats of the 21st century than Nato. He said this
at his meeting with Nato and Russian experts devoted to international
security issues.

In his words, Nato is loaded with the burden of the cold war years,
and its large-scale bureaucracy is slow in turning towards the most
burning issues of the international community.

Kokoshin pointed out Nato’s inefficiency citing the 1999 operation
in Kosovo unauthorised by the UN and in violation of international law.

“Russia and its CSTO allies are deeply concerned over the situation
in Afghanistan where the US military rule has been transferred to
Nato. Drug flows from Afghanistan grow incessantly,” said Kokoshin.

According to him, it is surprising that this is not yet high on
Nato’s agenda.

Instead of modernising its structures, developing more actively the
new forms and ways of combating threats to civilisation, Nato opted
for the expansion and admitted new members, which aroused negative
reaction in Russia and other CIS countries,” said the parliamentarian.

“The flights of Nato’s AWACS reconnaissance aircraft and F-16 fighters
along Russia’s borders now that terrorism is increasing in southern
Europe, Iran, Uzbekistan, and other parts of the world struck many
politicians in CSTO countries as absurd,” said Kokoshin.

He believes that “Nato’s expansion has contributed nothing to the
efficiency of the alliance’s fight against terrorism, drug mafia,
proliferation of WMD and its delivery equipment.” According to
Kokoshin, this confirmed once again that the Russians who opposed
Nato’s eastward expansion were right.