11/12/2018, 09.42
RUSSIA
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Former Soviet-states NATO is without a Secretary

by Vladimir Rozanskij

The Collective Security Treaty Organization includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan. Ukraine left last May. No agreement on the new secretary: vote postponed to December, in St. Petersburg. The Kazakhstani space projects.

Moscow (AsiaNews) - Last November 8, the Kazakh capital Astana hosted a high level summit of the member countries of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (abbreviated by the English CSTO), the so-called "counter-NATO" established in 1992 by six former Soviet nations, among those that had formed the so-called "Commonwealth of Independent States" (CIS): Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan, excluding Ukraine, which formally separated itself from CIS last May.

The presidents of the six countries participated in the meeting that was to choose the new Secretary-General after the new Armenian President Nicol Pashinyan revoked the mandate of Jurij Kachaturov, ex-head of the Armenian armed forces, who had been in office since 2017. Pashinian believes that General Kachaturov is one of the chief protagonists of 2008 repressions, when the army killed 8 protesters demonstrating against the election of President Ter-Petrosyan.

The surprising news is that the leaders of the CSTO have failed to elect the Secretary, postponing the decision to the next meeting on December 6, in St. Petersburg. Pashinyan himself wanted to replace Kachaturov with another Armenian candidate, without naming names, but he clashed with Vladimir Putin's sharp opposition, highlighting a strong tension between the two. And this despite the good relations apparently preserved after the Armenian "velvet revolution" that has marginalized the old ruling class linked to ex-president Serž Sargsyan, very close to Putin's Russia.

President Lukashenko's Belarus attempted to propose the mediation of its own candidacy, advancing the name of General Stanislav Zas', secretary of the Belarussian Security Council, welcome to many former Soviet colleagues. Russia instead stumbled on the candidacy of Valerij Semerikov, until now deputy to Kachaturov, and historical commander of the Russian ground forces in Asia.

At a certain point in the summit a sensational news broke: Kazakhstan invited none other than Elon Musk, the South African-Canadian multi-billionaire entrepreneur founder of PayPal and Tesla, and collaborator of the government of Donald Trump to take part in the summit. Musk actually collaborates with the Kazakh government on its space projects, being also the founder of Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, the so-called SpaceX, which wants to change the destinies of the world and humanity by reducing global warming with the use of renewable energy , and reducing the risk of "human extinction" by establishing a colony on Mars.

Kazakhstan is the historical site of former and post-Soviet space projects, with the Baikonur space base, which remains administered by the Russians with an agreement valid until 2050. The cosmic ambitions of the country led by Nursultan Nazarbaev remained in reality in the background : when Musk's presence seemed to materialize, Putin himself arrived at the summit, apparently leaving his foreign minister Lavrov to deal with the issues. And the result was stalemate.

The CSTO is a Soviet legacy which seems of no interest to anyone. It could regain importance in the future geopolitical strategies, for the different relations of force within it, for the future scenarios of Asia and Eastern Europe, and perhaps even of the astral routes to which the terrestrial conflicts will move.

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