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Russia, EU, NATO and the Strengthening of the CSTO in Central Asia

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Author(s): Irina Ionela Pop

Journal: Caucasian Review of International Affairs
ISSN 1865-6773

Volume: 3;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 278;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: Central Asia | Russia | CSTO | Rapid Reaction Forces | military bases | EU | NATO

ABSTRACT
Central Asia is a region with great geopolitical and geo-economic significance. Although the war on terrorism brought the USA, the EU, and NATO into Central Asia, after the 2005 Andijan event, Russia has been resurgent in the region. This paper analyses the Russian political-military strategies toward the Central Asian states, focusing both on bilateral and multilateral security cooperation. The strengthening of the CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organisation), especially through the creation of the Rapid Reaction Forces, should not be neglected in Europe. According to Russian officials’ speeches, the CSTO requires equal partnership with NATO in Afghanistan. This would strengthen the importance of the CSTO in Eurasia and would limit bilateral dialogue between the former Soviet republics and EU or NATO.
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