The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) will conduct three military exercises in Kazakhstan next year, the Kazakh Ministry of Defense said on Tuesday.
Earlier in the day, CSTO Secretary-General Stanislav Zas arrived in Kazakhstan and met with Kazakh Defense Minister Nurlan Yermekbayev to discuss the cooperation within the organization.
“Lt. Gen. Nurlan Yermekbayev and Stanislav Zas have discussed the 2021-2022 agenda of exercises of the Collective Security Treaty Organization. In 2021, the main exercises are planned to take place on the territory of Tajikistan. It has been noted that, in 2022, exercises ‘Interaction,’ ‘Search,’ and ‘Echelon’ will be conducted in Kazakhstan,” the ministry said.
Yermekbayev also stressed, as quoted in the statement, the need to continue the development of the CSTO Collective Rapid Reaction Force as an independent unit and to facilitate its maintenance.
Russia and Kazakhstan closely cooperate in the sphere of security. Both countries are CSTO members along with Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The Russian and Kazakh armed forces regularly participate in joint military exercises and operations held under the aegis of the CSTO. The countries also cooperate at the level of their law enforcement agencies and security services.