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Uzbekistan and the CSTO

Question:  Uzbekistan refused to take part in the Rapid Reaction Force (RRF) within Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) of the CIS. How long will Uzbekistan stay in this organization taking into consideration that the country ignores organization's projects? Why do you think so?

Answer:  Uzbekistan will likely remain a member of CSTO for so long as it continues to be able to participate, and to refrain from participation, on its own terms. So long as it is able absolutely to set these conditions, it loses nothing and gains the potential for better information, if not necessarily influence. An example of where these conditions were not met was Uzbekistan's participation in the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU or EurAsEC, also EAEC), an organization that it left last October.

Question:  What does CSTO get from Uzbekistan's membership in this organization?

Answer:  Uzbekistan remains a key strategic country in Central Asia. Thus its membership in CSTO helps to provide a legitimating function to the organization. For so long as Uzbekistan remains a member of CSTO, the CSTO retains the possibility of contacts with the military staff, and contacts open the way to exchanges of views and therefore at least potentially better information on Uzbekistani affairs, if not also potential influence.

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Excerpted interview at V. Zhavoronkova, "Uzbekistan to drive for keeping membership in CSTO as long as possible," Trend News (Baku), 16 September 2009.

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