“WE CAN SEND PEACEKEEPERS TO ANY POINT OF THE PLANET”
DEFENSE and SECURITY (Russia)
December 5, 2012 Wednesday
BYLINE: Margarita Alekhina, Goar Karapetyan
Source: Novye Izvestia, November 29, 2012, pp. 1, 5
INTERVIEW OF GENERAL SECRETARY OF CSTO NIKOLAI BORDYUZHA; General
Secretary of the Collective Security Treaty Organization Nikolai
Bordyuzha speaks about the current activities of the organization.
For beginning see the previous issue of the bulletin
Question: It is not a secret that there are disputes between other
CSTO member states too, for example, between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
Nikolai Bordyuzha: They really exist and deal, first of all, with
delimitation and demarcation of borders. You know that there are
several enclaves in Central Asia where citizens of one state live on
the territory of another state but are guided by laws of their historic
motherland. There are Tajik enclaves on the territory of Kyrgyzstan,
there are enclaves of Kyrgyzstan on the territory of Uzbekistan. There
are contradictions of water-energy nature. Along with this, these
contradictions do not have any influence on participation of countries
in activity of the organization.
Question: Is the opinion that the CSTO is not as much a normal union as
combination of relations of Russia with the post-Soviet republics just?
Nikolai Bordyuzha: This is an absolutely dilettante approach! We have
rules of consensus: if one of the countries does not agree with this
or that project, decision or operation we do not implement it. How is
it possible to speak about a combination of relations if we actually
work in the same spirit? We conduct operations for migration, drugs
and information security in the same way. If we do combat training
representatives of all countries participate in the exercises. For
example, operational groups of the CSTO member states from Central
Asian region are always present at exercises in Belarus. This year,
Belarusian contingents participated in exercises Interaction-2012
in Armenia and Indestructible Brotherhood-2012 in Kazakhstan. It is
also not true that all states orient their security system only at
Russia because citizens of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan study in military
educational institutions of Kazakhstan that helps strengthening of
borders of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
Question: But Kazakhstan is not such an obvious leader as Russia.
Nikolai Bordyuzha: Of course, economic capabilities of Russia are
such that it provides air to everyone. But this does not mean that we
do not have this commonness and do not have a common activity. Even
here, in the secretariat, the governing posts are occupied by citizens
of all states. There is a collective principle everywhere, at every
stage of our activity.
Question: Some experts presume that for Russia military cooperation
with Central Asian countries is a burden because for them the CSTO
is a possibility to receive preferences from Russia without giving
anything in exchange. Is this so?
Nikolai Bordyuzha: This is another, to put it soft, incompetent
position. Everyone needs allies and friends who could help in difficult
situation. Yes, it is necessary to pay for security. We will be unable
to combat drug trafficking efficiently without Tajikistan.
We will be unable to combat extremism without the CSTO member
states because very many extremist organizations work in Russia from
territory of other countries or work from Russia in Tajikistan or
Kyrgyzstan. Yes, Russia invests some money but in exchange it receives
a possibility to act in the neighboring countries.
Question: In military conflicts of the last few years the CSTO
had position of non-interference. What is its meaning as military
Nikolai Bordyuzha: The CSTO does not occupy position of
non-interference. This is just another matter that leaders of the
CSTO member states treat the use of troops for resolving of crisis
situations very accurately. We have experience of the 1970s, 1980s and
1990s when appearance of Soviet or Russian troops in the hot spots has
not always resulted in resolving of crises. But non-use of force does
not mean that the CSTO does not interfere into the crisis situations.
In the south of Kyrgyzstan and in South Ossetia, Russia and other
members of the organization participated in resolving of conflicts
Question: But they participated only politically.
Nikolai Bordyuzha: At the example of Kyrgyzstan I will explain how
we have acted. First, we provided political support. Second, we
helped the law-enforcement agencies in additional equipment of their
units with special means and special hardware. Third, we helped the
authorities of Kyrgyzstan to solve social problems that pushed people
to protests. Seeds, construction materials, money, transport and
aviation were supplied to the republic. Simultaneously, we conducted
several operations for prevention of penetration of armament and bandit
forces to the south of Kyrgyzstan, for stopping of activity of drug
groups and for control over the information environment. Yes, we did
not send the troops but we worked very actively then. Of course, it
were not our efforts that were determining in provision of stability
but there was our contribution there. Thus, the meaning of the CSTO
is use of force when it is necessary. When there is a possibility
to resolve a conflict by a peaceful way it takes political, economic
and social measures.
Question: What should happen for the CSTO to insert the troops?
Nikolai Bordyuzha: We need to be sure that national formations do not
cope with the situation. There should be an address of the legitimate
leader of the state to the CSTO and resolution of the collective
security council. In South Ossetia in August of 2008 everyone
understood that Russia had potential and capabilities to resolve the
conflict and so the matter of use of collective forces was not even
raised. Along with this, there was a statement of foreign ministers
of the CSTO member states about support of the actions of Russia for
forcing of Georgia to peace and condemning of aggression. In the 1990s
in Tajikistan it was clear that the young authorities could not provide
stability. Collective forces of Russia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan
were used and even Uzbekistan took part in them at the first stage.
Question: Is interference of the CSTO into the Nagorno-Karabakh
Nikolai Bordyuzha: Several institutions work with the matters of
Nagorno-Karabakh. For example, this is the Minsk group of the OSCE.
That is why we think that additional interference of the CSTO is not
expedient and is counter-productive.
Question: What do you think about the level of interaction with
Nikolai Bordyuzha: I think that it is an example of quickness
in settlement and discussion of all issues. Close contact of the
secretariat of the CSTO with the council of national defense of
Armenia and its secretary Artur Bagdasaryan contribute to this
especially much. Due to his initiatives and efforts several military
industrial enterprises are established in cooperation with Russia
in Armenia. These are service centers for repair of armament and
military hardware. Information center of the CSTO has been created
and is working successfully in Armenia.
Question: Are there “weak links” in the CSTO besides Uzbekistan?
Nikolai Bordyuzha: Uzbekistan was not a weak link and it also
participated in solving of problems. But I would not speak about some
weak links. There are certain nuances and there are special positions
of the states but this is a usual matter.
Question: New tasks of the CSTO are counteraction to illegal
migration and drug trafficking and liquidation of consequences of
emergency situations. Is it possible that this will harm the military
Nikolai Bordyuzha: No. We have been transforming the CSTO from a
military bloc into an international security organization since 2006.
At present, every state faces a lot of problems that undermine
its stability. These are drugs, terrorism and illegal migration
and information attacks. It is not important how situation will be
destabilized or mass disorders appear in one of the CSTO countries
with assistance of bandit forces or some propaganda. It is important
that people will suffer, which means that we should counteract such
Question: Which events are planned in the military field?
Nikolai Bordyuzha: First, these are exercises for different purposes.
Second, this is increase of potential of the law-enforcement agencies,
special services and agencies for prevention and liquidation of
emergency situations. Third, this is coordination of our efforts. We
have coordinating council of heads of anti-drug agencies that meets
two times per year, works out unified plans and adopts resolutions
on collective reaction to these or those problems. There are similar
coordinating councils for combating of illegal migration and in the
field of prevention and liquidation of emergency situations.
Question: Authorities of Russia propose development of not as much
political or military cooperation as the economic one in the form of
the Eurasian Economic Union. To which extent is this correct?
Nikolai Bordyuzha: this is correct because economy is the basis. In the
1990s there was no economy and everything collapsed then including the
army and the law-enforcement system. However, the President develops
the system of integration in general and he is also active in the
field of security.
Question: Can some new association appear on the future on the basis
of the CSTO and Eurasian Economic Union?
Nikolai Bordyuzha: If formation of the normative base for the new
Eurasian Economic Union is completed successfully by 2015 we will
have two models of further cooperation. The first model is like
in Europe: the European Union that is occupied with political,
economic and social issues separately and NATO that is occupied with
security separately. The second is uniting of the economic bloc and
the security bloc.
Question: The military bloc of the European Union acts in the countries
of Europe along with NATO. Is such forma suitable for you?
Nikolai Bordyuzha: We are in an advantageous position because we can
look at experience of the European Union and NATO and not to follow
the path of trial and error. I know about the military dimension of
the EU but I do not think that parallels in the field of provision
of security are useful.
Question: You have said recently, “The CSTO has a notion about the
external enemy.” What kind of enemy it is?
Nikolai Bordyuzha: This is a whole complex of threats. This is a
possibility of negative influence on the situation in our countries
on the part of Afghanistan. These are such traditional challenges
as drug trafficking, growing activeness of extremist and terrorist
groups, especially in Central Asia. This is the organized crime that
is striving to come to power. This is trade in people and children.
Question: Anyway, these threats are abstract. Are there certain states
that threaten us?
Nikolai Bordyuzha: I have said many times that threat of external
military conflict is small now. Countries face not these problems now.
Thirty thousand people die from drugs in our country annually. Is
this an illusory threat?
But if we speak about countries, of course, Afghanistan causes
concern, terrorist and extremist groups that are going to broaden
their activity in countries of Central Asian region are based there,
the main drug traffic comes from there.
Question: Is the CSTO prepared for departure of NATO forces from
there in 2014?
Nikolai Bordyuzha: Our main task is creation of a system of rapid
response to challenges and threats on the part of Afghanistan after
withdrawal of multinational forces from there by 2014.
Question: Is activity of the CSTO outside of the limits of the member
Nikolai Bordyuzha: In accordance with the agreement ratified by our
countries, we can use our collective peacekeeping forces outside of the
member states of the CSTO under a mandate of the UN Security Council
if such resolution is issued by the collective security council of
the CSTO. For example, in Cote d’Ivoire.
Question: What about the Middle East?
Nikolai Bordyuzha: You drive me smoothly to the question if we will
be able to insert peacekeeping forces into Syria? If there is an
inquiry of the UN Security Council and agreement of our presidents
we will send our peacekeeping forces to any point of the planet.
[Translated from Russian]