Russian-led military alliance CSTO to discuss joint statement on Middle East security

Leaders from the six states that comprise the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO)—a grouping of former Soviet states—will meet in

csto middle east

Photo: Kremlin

Leaders from the six states that comprise the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO)—a grouping of former Soviet states—will meet in Kyrgyzstan today to finalise a joint statement on Middle Eastern security.

The statement is expected to reiterate the importance of counterterrorism operations for member states, all of which harbour concerns regarding terrorism and large migration flows into their countries. Russian President Vladimir Putin has specifically framed interventions in Syria and bilateral meetings with many Middle Eastern leaders as counterterrorism efforts, often citing proximity to areas of conflict as a major concern.

Russia will likely use the joint statement to further legitimise its presence in the region. Given Moscow’s strong economic relationships with other CSTO members, including Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, Russia’s position will likely attract support from the organisation. Indeed, these aforementioned countries have expressed concerns over the spread of terrorist groups from the Middle East.

Expect Russia to continue to use multilateral bodies like the CSTO, as well as bilateral meetings in countries like Saudi Arabia, Syria and Turkey, to further bolster its counterterrorism efforts and general presence in the Middle East.

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