Post-Soviet security bloc’s working group heads to Kyrgyzstan

June 25. RIA Novosti

Post-Soviet security bloc's working group heads to KyrgyzstanThe head of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and its working group will head to Kyrgyzstan on Friday to assess the situation there, the post-Soviet security bloc said.

“The group’s key tasks are to assess the military and political situation in Kyrgyzstan and render assistance to the republic’s law enforcement agencies as they are addressing the consequences of mass unrest,” the CSTO said.

Clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks, who account for about 15% of Kyrgyzstan’s population, broke out in the southern Kyrgyz city of Osh on June 11, lasting several days and spreading to nearby Jalalabad. The official death toll exceeded 260, but the actual death count could be ten times higher.

The delegation will visit Kyrgyz capital Bishkek and the cities of Osh and Jalalabad and outline a plan of action for CSTO members, which include Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

The situation in Kyrgyzstan remains highly volatile. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) proposed on Wednesday sending international police to prevent the spread of violence in the Central Asian republic.

The Kyrgyz interim government asked Russia to send troops to Kyrgyzstan to help quench the unrest, but Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Thursday Russia is not yet planning to send peacekeepers to the country.

The CSTO said a week ago that its member states see no need yet to send troops to troubled Kyrgyzstan, but will “provide all-round assistance to law enforcement and security agencies in Kyrgyzstan to help tackle the crisis and bring the situation back to normal” and could send advisors to the country.