CSTO to form major military force in Central Asia
May 29. Interfax-AVN. MOSCOW
Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are jointly forming a major military grouping in Central Asia capable of rebuffing large-scale aggression, spokesman for the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Vitaly Strugovets said.
“The CSTO’s Central Asian grouping is intended to fight so-called large wars, not to deal with local conflicts the collective rapid deployment forces are meant for,” he said.
The grouping will encompass tank, artillery and air units of five states, as well as Russia and Kazakhstan’s Caspian naval forces, Strugovets told Interfax-AVN on Friday.
The Collective Rapid Reaction Forces, which have existed in the region for nearly six years and which are comprised of 11 battalions, will become permanent readiness units in the new grouping, he said.
“The issue of forming the grouping, discussed for several years now, has effectively been finalized and draft agreements to form them have been prepared. They are being negotiated with CSTO countries,” Strugovets said.