Contribution to the series "The World HandCov'd"

It is quite common for international institutions to reconsider their objectives, mission and even the very meaning of their existence as the environment they operate in evolves. It is a completely different matter, though, when, three decades into its life, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) is still unable to define its reasons for being or even its practical application. This suggests a systemic problem.

Key takeaways

• Without a clear mission, the CSTO tends to declare that it prepares itself to deal with all sorts of security issues, including the Covid-19 pandemic.

• From a practical standpoint, the CSTO’s achievements remain modest.

• Until now, the organization has been a symbol, rather than an instrument, of Russian influence in the post-Soviet space.

• Not only is the CSTO side-lined by the SCO, but it has already started playing a subsidiary role for the latter.

You can download the entire report as a pdf.