Friday, June 22, 2012 -
Members of the post-Soviet military-political alliance Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) vowed this week to help Tajikistan secure its porous border with Afghanistan.
The decision was made Wednesday at a working group under the Council of Foreign Ministers called to discuss the challenges and threats emanating from Afghanistan, as well as security issues in CSTO member states.
The Kremlin-led group of seven nations agreed at the Moscow meeting to intensify efforts to enhance security along the Tajikistan’s mountainous border, which drug and weapons traffickers from Afghanistan cross as they head for Russia and Europe.
The ministers discussed ways to coordinate security efforts in context of the withdrawal of NATO forces from conflict-ridden Afghanistan in 2014, according to a report from Tajik news agency Avesta.tj.
The CSTO meetings also reviewed and approved a plan for a resumption of talks on Afghanistan between senior officials of their foreign and defense ministries and other relevant agencies in autumn 2012.
Parties to the talks also agreed to exchange information on the shipment of NATO supplies from Afghanistan via the Northern Distribution Network (NDN) through Central Asia.
The Kremlin expressed outrage earlier this month on hearing that the Central Asian governments had held secret talks with the Pentagon on acquiring military equipment from the U.S. mission in Afghanistan.
Moscow is eager to post its troops on the Tajik-Afghan border, but although Tajikistan welcomes Russian cash and military equipment, it fears that the presence of foreign troops on its frontiers will erode Tajik sovereignty.
The CSTO comprises Central Asian states Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, along with Russia, Armenia and Belarus.