CSTO preparing for drills at Tajik-Afghan border. It’s unclear whether Belarus troops will be sent there

At the moment, there is no need to employ the CSTO mechanisms to defend the Tajik-Afghan border from Taliban forces, CSTO Secretary General Stanislau Zas said when reached by state-run news agency BelTA.

Таjik-Russian-Uzbek drills. Таjikistan, 5 August 2021. Photo: mil.ru

According to him, the Collective Security Treaty Organisation is getting ready for the military drills which are to take place in the corresponding region; the Taliban’s offensive in neighbouring Afghanistan does not seem to scratch the CSTO’s plans. He stressed, however, that the change of power in the country would ‘significantly affect the situation in the Central Asian zone of the CSTO collective security and cause deep concern’.

“The CSTO is closely monitoring the developments at the Tajikistan-Afghanistan border. The primary goal of the organization in the current conditions is to ensure the security of the CSTO member states. At the same time, the priority is still given to political and diplomatic mechanisms. If the situation gets worse threatening the security of the Republic of Tajikistan, the CSTO will use all the collective instruments stipulated by its statutory documents to help the ally,” BelTA quotes Stanislau Zas.

Belarus is a member of the CSTO; in theory, the country might send their troops there.

The CSTO exercises ‘Cobalt’, ‘Search’, ‘Interaction’, ‘Echelon’ are to be held in 2021 in Tajikistan. The drills which began on August 5 engage more than 2,500 military from Tajikistan, Russia, Uzbekistan, and about 500 units of equipment. In previous years, the Belarusian forces participated in war games hosted by Tajikistan, but this year, neither Belarusian nor Tajik or Russian sides have reported their involvement.

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