The Collective Security Treaty (Treaty) was signed on May 15, 1992 in Tashkent (Uzbekistan), Armenia being among the signatories.
At present, the CSTO members are the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Belarus, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Tajikistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan.
According to the Treaty, the Participating States, collectively confront and eliminate a military threat against their sovereignty and territorial integrity. This fundamental provision of the Treaty is defined by the Article 4, according to which in case of an act of aggression against a Member State, all other Participating States would provide all necessary assistance, including that of military.
In 1999, Armenia also signed the Protocol on Prolongation of the Treaty.
In 2002, The Treaty was transformed into the Collective Security Treaty Organization (the Organization, CSTO) whose basic functional elements include close military and military-technical cooperation among the Member States, foreign policy coordination on issues of mutual interest and, more recently, countering new threats and challenges, such as international terrorism and organized crime.
The supreme body of the Organization – the Collective Security Council (CSC) – consisting of the Presidents of the Member States, discusses matters related to the regional and international security, adopts decisions and documents defining cooperation between the Member States. Since its transformation into organization, the CSTO’s normative legal base necessary for the collective security, defense and coordinated political-diplomatic activities has been continuously improving, and documents ensuring effective cooperation in the three main elements of the Organization’s activities have been signed and implemented.
Armenia’s membership to CSTO is a major component of the country’s security architecture.
In June-August of 2008, the “ROUBEZH (defense frontier) 2008”, a large-scale complex command-staff exercise of the CSTO Member States’ armed forces was held in Armenia for the first time under the topic of preparation and conduct of a collective action in defense of sovereignty and territorial integrity of a Member State. The exercise provided an ample opportunity to check the military-political readiness of the Member States for a collective defense action envisaged under the Article 4 of the Collective Security Treaty, as well as to further elaborate measures to be taken by local authorities in case of a threat of aggression or an act of aggression against the Republic of Armenia.
Armenia chaired the CSTO from September 2008 to June 2009.
Under the Armenian Chairmanship on February 4, 2009 in Moscow, a decision to create the Rapid Reaction Collective Forces (RRCF) of the Organization was taken. The main purpose of RRCF is a rapid deployment for the purpose of prevention of military aggression against the Member States, conduct of special operations against international terrorism and organized crime, as well as mitigation of the consequences of natural and technological disasters.