In Order to Prevent Revolutions in the States of the Organization
The Heads of the CSTO states have agreed to strengthen the Organization by making it more mobile by the raise of revolutions, such as a Kirgiz one. The amendments which will approximate the SCTO to NATO within its functions can be developed already by December. Judging by the claims previous weekend even Alexander Lukashenko agreed with this in Yerevan, but a year ago he refused to undertake the CSTO Chairmanship because of the establishment of rapid reaction forces within the organization. This time Belarus expressed not only the approval of the need to transform the organization, but also its readiness to undertake the Chairmanship at the CSTO.
In general the focus of observers during informal Yerevan Summit was attracted to the faces and gestures of the meeting participants, rather than to the words said. The reason was another scandal between Russia and Belarus which arose on the eve. Three weeks ago in Sochi Dmitry Medvedev stated that Alexander Lukashenko in the presence of the Heads of a number of the CIS states in 2008 “solemnly promised”, that Belarus will acknowledge Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
“There were no solemn promises, no one heard that”, - Mr. Lukashenko was insulted in reply. “Solemnly means publicly” – he noted, adding that provided Russia “did its steps forward, probably, the situation would be quite different”.
Afterwards the assistant of Russian President Sergey Prikhodko claimed to the reporters that the Kremlin was ready to publish the CSTO meeting record with the comments of Alexander Lukashenko on this issue, and also other comments of Belarusian President, which, according to the Kremlin official, “would be quite interesting for Belarusian as well as for international community”.
During the Yerevan Summit reporters, holding breath, waited for the “solemn” moment of meeting records exchange and the mutual reaction of politicians. During the protocol part Dmitry Medvedev didn’t look at his Belarusian colleague emphatically. And the colleague did the same. It was really hard for them as they were sitting one in front of another.
It was especially harsh, as the closed part of the Summit lasted for several hours. All this time the organizers repeatedly removed microphones for the press-conference for Alexander Lukashenko, Nursultan Nazarbayev and first time coming for the Summit Roza Otunbayeva, and again returned them on places. By the evening it turned out that reporters won’t be able to ask their questions, and the format of the press-conference was changed for the statement for the press.
Coming to the Mass Media Dmitry Medvedev, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and the CSTO Secretary General Nikolay Bordiuzha announced that the result of Kirgiz situation discussion was the preliminary decision to start the transformation of the CSTO.
The amendments into statutory documents of the Organization should be ready by December, when there will be a Summit to be held in Moscow. As a bit confusingly clarified the Russian Leader, they should allow to “react rapidly” on the situations, like the one in Kirgizia.
Does this mean that the CSTO can gain the right to interfere into internal conflicts and establish order in the country, or to assist the regime-in-power of the treaty member-state with military equipment, remained unclear.
Dmitry Medvedev only states that “all the Leaders agreed that the lessons of the events in Kirgizia force us to make the mechanism efficient”. “We agreed that by December there will be draft projects ready to amend those statutory documents of the CSTO which are the foundation of our activity. They are needed to establish more efficient institutions, maybe with extended authorities”, - claimed Mr. Medvedev for the reporters after the negotiations.
As an example the President recollected the experience of NATO and a number of other international organizations, such as the EU and UNO. As he said, this practice should be analyzed. There is a probability that by the end of the year the states will agree to extend the sphere of CRRF (Collective Rapid Reaction Forces) responsibility due to the aid within domestic conflicts. I.e. CRRF can gain the right to provide the acting regimes of the CSTO member-states with military assistance also in case of internal conflicts.
The events in Kirgizia which resulted into the overthrow of the President Kurmanbek Bakiyev and into ongoing turmoil, obviously scared the leadership of all the Organization member-states. Probably that is why even Belarusian Leader, who appointed elections of February of 2011, wasn’t against the enforcement of the block. Maybe, that is why the exchange with records didn’t take place. On the opposite, as Dmitry Medvedev reported, Alexander Lukashenko agreed to undertake the functions of the CSTO Chairman during the Summit in December.
Translated by EuroDialogue XXI from RBC daily