Turbulence in the CSTO: A 12-month outlook


    Recent turbulence in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) indicates a growing instability in the multilateral organisation. Long-standing conflicts, between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, escalated in the past 2 years. The developments highlight vulnerabilities and a potentially growing mistrust towards Russia, the organisation’s security provider.

    The recent development follows a pattern of internal disputes among member states, likely raising distrust in its function as a balancing power to NATO. Further on, Russia’s inability to support Armenia in the Nagorno-Karabakh wars and the following conflicts highlights the organisation’s shortcomings and its members’ dependency towards a potentially weakened and highly occupied Russia.

    After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, there are incentives for NATO members ‌and Azerbaijan ally Turkey, to utilise evolving splits as a means of weakening Russia’s influence and military capability in the region. In summary, turbulence in the CSTO offers interesting prospects for future regional stability in the East.

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    Oscar Rosengren
    Oscar Rosengren
    Oscar Rosengren is a student at the Swedish Defence University in Stockholm. His main focus area is the Sahel Region and West Africa. Specific interests are asymmetric threats, mainly terrorism, covert action, and cyber threats.

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