Members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) face a delicate task late next month when they meet in Yerevan for one of their regular pow-wows -- how to explain why the CSTO declined to send forces to member-state Kyrgyzstan in June to quell ethnic bloodshed.
The refusal sparked accusations that the organization, intended as an FSU version of NATO, is useless.
Speaking at a July 21 press-conference in Yerevan, the CSTO's Russian secretary-general, Nikolai Bordyuzha, had a ready response to that one: “We have all deemed it inexpedient to invade another state as it would only aggravate tensions,” Bordyuzha explained.
Such considerations, however, did not stop Russia from invading non-CSTO member Georgia in 2008.
But not only Georgia will be keeping a cautious eye on the CSTO shindig to its south.
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