The American private intelligence analytical firm Stratfor recently published a report regarding the Donald Trump administration planning to take steps in 2019 to increase its influence in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the South Caucasus.
According to the Nezavisimaya Gazeta, the United States will first of all direct its attention to Moscow’s closest allies, including the CSTO and the Eurasian Economic Union.
Since removing Belarus from Russia is difficult for objective reasons, the US intends to direct its aspirations to Central Asia and the South Caucasus. But at the same time Minsk will not be ignored. The White House’s following task is to establish close relations with Armenia, the website writes.
After the collapse of the USSR, Washington declared itself the Cold War winner, ignoring the upcoming changes in Russia, the heir of the Soviet Union. The creation of the CSTO in 1992 was ignored by the United States, which did not see a threat to it and considered that there was no need to strictly limit the initiative.
In 1993 the CSTO agreement was signed by 9 member states and entered into force on April 20, 1994. Its validity was set at 5 years, after which it was supposed to be extended. The US was pleased with the fact that in 1999, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Uzbekistan refused to extend the contract. Uzbekistan returned to CSTO in 2006 and ceased its membership again in 2012.
Now the United States has realized the necessity to further weaken Moscow, depriving it of its close allies and expects success in its actions. Western analysts note that CSTO is a weak military-political alliance. Experts note that the contract must be revised and redefined, otherwise the organization is set to collapse sooner or later.
Let’s start with the fact that the CSTO has never provided any support to any of its members. In 2010, the Kyrgyz government requested troops to resolve the internal armed conflict but was rejected. None of Armenia’s allies supports it over the war in Nagorno-Karabakh. Even when Azerbaijani subversives invaded Tavush, Yerevan was left without support. Moreover, its CSTO allies Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan are selling weapons to Azerbaijan. And all this is because the CSTO agreement does not prohibit the weapon trade among the member states.
But Moscow is often left without assistance from its close allies as well. So far none of the CSTO member states has officially recognized the Crimea as Russian. Even after the incident in Kerch Strait, the allies either made neutral statements or chose to remain abstinent. Only Russia has recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Russia has been fighting for three years alone in Syria. During all this period only Armenia agreed to once send a humanitarian mission to this country. At the same time, CSTO conducts expensive military drills every year. A joint headquarters, rapid deployment forces, unified air defense, united communications, etc., have been created, and all this can be useless if there is no real, actual union of the organization, the reads.
It is noted that Russia may rely heavily on Tajikistan and Belarus in CSTO. Kazakhstan, the Kremlin’s most reliable ally has established a visa-free regime for the US citizens and made a transition from Cyrillic alphabet to the Latin one. Allied relations with Kyrgyzstan are fragile, the political situation is unstable and color revolution can take place at any moment.
“Armenia was considered to be Russia’s most reliable ally, but this year a velvet revolution took place, and the Americans didn’t miss the opportunity and immediately sent their ambassador John Bolton.
During his conversation with Bolton, when offered to buy American weapons, the new leader of Armenia declared that “the country is not bound by any restrictions. And if the US makes a good proposal, we are ready to discuss it.” Besides, a criminal case has been filed against CSTO Secretary General Yuri Khachaturov and Gazprom’s local affiliate. As a result, the relations between Yerevan and Moscow suddenly aggravated, ” the article concludes.