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CSTO Takes Stock Of Uzbekistan's Departure

Presidents of all CSTO member states at the group's summit in Moscow. Absent: Uzbekistan's Islam Karimov.

For months, Uzbekistan's erstwhile allies in the Collective Security Treaty Organization have been discussing in public what they intend to do in regard to Tashkent's suspension of its membership in the group. When the CSTO finally held its summit meeting last week in Moscow, the group did the only thing it really could: accept the inevitable and try to put the best face on it. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visited Tashkent just before the CSTO meeting, saying "It is Uzbekistan's sovereign choice [to leave the CSTO]. We regret it, but the decision has been made... However, Uzbekistan, remains our ally, our strategic partner."

The CSTO did suggest that Uzbekistan can't just float in and out of the group, as it did once before, reported Russian newspaper Vedemosti:

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CSTO Takes Stock Of Uzbekistan's Departure

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