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The Collective Security Treaty Organization (Russian: Организация Договора о коллективной безопасности, Organizatsiyz Dogovora o kollektivnoy bezopacnocti), often abbreviated as the CSTO (ОДКБ, ODKB), is an intergovernmental military alliance between Armenia, Georgia, Mongolia, and the Soviet Union. Initially established as a multinational command to prevent conflict, the CSTO has evolved into a multinational military alliance. The CSTO (especially in the west) is often seen as the reformed successor of the Warsaw Pact.
By the end of 1991, the conflict between Armenia and the Soviet republic of Azerbaijan had been resolved as part of the Tehran Accords. During the accords, the idea of military cooperation came into question. The primary reasoning for such an organization would be to protect the agreements of the accords (such as allowing Armenian access to Nagorno-Karabakh and Soviet access to Nakhchivan), but to also secure Armenia's borders and allow Soviet-support in any potential conflict that may come out with neighboring Turkey.
An agreement on such an organization wouldn't come out as part of the accords, but would resurface during the War of Pridnestrovie. On May 15, 1992, Armenia and the USSR would agree on the formation, when both sides ratify the Collective Security Treaty. The Armenian capital of Yerevan was selected as the headquarters of this new organization.
After the formation of the CSTO, conflict between the Soviet Union and Georgia would break out in August 1992, after Georgian troops attempt to invade and crush the separatist forces in Abkhazia. As part of the cooperation, Armenia was not required to get involved in the conflict, but willing Armenian volunteers became part of the effort for Abkhazia (due in great part to the large Armenian population living in the region).
As the situation in Georgia progressed, the growing conflict within the Georgian government would spark a civil war. The Soviets and Armenians would eventually side with Eduard Shevardnadze and his opposition group within Georgia, but would not go further in securing sides in the internal conflict. By 1993 (however), the opposition takes control of Georgia Proper (excluding Abkhazia and South Ossetia), but regional conflict would continue against the Zviadists forces (primarily in the Samegrelo region). The situation in Georgia would eventually lead to their involvement within the CSTO, becoming a member in 1994.
In 1995 the Soviet Union elects Nikolai Ryzhkov as their new President. In 1997 the CSTO was renewed for another five years. By then, the growing issue of the potential expansion of NATO into Eastern Europe would lead to the question of expanding the CSTO. As part of the renewal process, Ryzhkov would suggest the inclusion of the former Warsaw Pact nations. Despite the obvious rejection by them, many within Eastern Europe did support such an idea (primarily those who were opposed to NATO).
This tug-of-war within Eastern Europe would eventually lead a neutral movement within these countries, preventing either side from expanding, but at the same time, ending the tensions between the Soviets and NATO over the issue.
After the terrorist attacks upon the United States in 2001, the issue of both NATO and the CSTO came into question. In 2002 the CSTO was renewed once again, and reformed into a NATO-like organization. Terrorism became a major issue within the CSTO, which grew more important after the 2003 Moscow bombings. Due in part to growing tensions with China, Mongolia would vote to join the CSTO in 2004. Despite not joining, terrorism and neighboring issues have caused Albania, Afghanistan, and Yugoslavia to consider greater cooperation within the organization.
- Full member states
- Associated states