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Is the CSTO Preparing for Peacekeeping in Syria?

Soldiers from CSTO member states practice carrying out a UN peacekeeping mission in Belarus in August 2016. (photo: MoD Kazakhstan)

Russia's post-Soviet security bloc, the Collective Security Treaty Organization, has held discussions with the United Nations about taking part in UN peacekeeping missions, an effort analysts said was likely made with Syria in mind.

"We have agreed to prepare a roadmap on the involvement of CSTO peacekeepers in UN peacekeeping operations," said CSTO Secretary General Nikolay Bordyuzha last month in New York after meeting with UN officials there. The UN "has already proposed the steps that we need to take and there is quite an active dialogue going on," he said.

The CSTO has been developing a peacekeeping structure for years, and held its first peacekeeping exercise in Kazakhstan in 2012. (The CSTO includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, in addition to Russia.) 

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Is the CSTO Preparing for Peacekeeping in Syria?

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