Kyrgyzstan cancels Russian-led military exercises on its land. WGN Radio 720

On Sunday, the Central Asian nation Kyrgyzstan unilaterally canceled joint military exercises between the six countries that make up the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).

The Kyrgyz Ministry of Defense did not specify a reason for canceling the ‘Immortal Brotherhood-2022’ commando and staff exercises that were scheduled to be held Monday-Friday in the windswept eastern highlands.

Earlier reports said the exercise would involve military personnel from CSTO members Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan and was set to focus on securing a ceasefire. Observers were also invited from five more states, including Serbia, Syria and Uzbekistan.

The move by Bishkek is the latest sign that tensions may be rising within the post-Soviet alliance formed in the early 1990s. Armenia was held last month by a group of Kazakhstani 2 after criticizing the bloc for not openly supporting it after large-scale fighting broke out on its border with non-member Azerbaijan in September. Skipped a week of training.

Russia and other CSTO countries effectively declined Yerevan’s request for military assistance, which came hours after hostilities began, and limited their response to sending fact-finding missions to the border. Armenian officials have accused the Azerbaijani government in Baku of using heavy artillery and combat drones to attack Armenian military positions.

Despite its clear ambition to provide a NATO counterpart, the CSTO sometimes struggles to define its exact purpose. Analysts have questioned its viability after failing to engage in numerous security crises among its members over the years.

Brock watched calmly last spring as two member states, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, became embroiled in a bloody border dispute.

Instead, the CSTO’s focus has turned more intensively on strengthening preparedness against potential spillovers from Afghanistan, which shares a long border with Tajikistan. As of last month, Russia had about 5,000 troops stationed in the country, down from her 7,000 in January. Kyrgyzstan cancels Russian-led military exercises on its land. WGN Radio 720

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