BAKU: Armenia To Chair Ex-Soviet Military Bloc


July 21 2008

Chairmanship in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO),
a bloc of former Soviet republics, will be transferred to Armenia,
its head said. We plan to tackle major problems during Armenias
chairmanship, the groups secretary-general Nikolay Bordyuzha said
while heading to the South Caucasus republic. Bordyuzha said he
would hold discussions during his visit on the issues that need to be
addressed. He is due to meet with the countrys president, ministers of
foreign and internal affairs, and emergencies, as well as the National
Security Council secretary and parliament speaker. The CSTO, which
comprises Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan
and Tajikistan, is considered the military arm of the Commonwealth of
Independent States. Despite Russias aspirations, Azerbaijan has not
entered the organization. The group was established in October 2002 to
ensure peace, preserve the territorial integrity of member countries,
coordinate activities in the fight against international terror, drug
trafficking, and organized crime, and to provide immediate military
aid to a CSTO member in the event of a military threat.