BISHKEK (ARMENPRESS)—Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian is due to arrive in Kyrgyzstan on Friday to attend a two day informal summit of the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization, where member states are to sign off on the establishment of a military base in Southern Kyrgyzstan to host the CSTO’s newly established Rapid Reaction Force.
The summit will bring together heads of state from the member countries for talks on the establishment of the base and on broader regional security issues in the resort town of Cholpon-Ata, near Lake Issyk Kul.
The new base will serve as a training ground for the post-soviet alliance’s new permanent military and peace keeping forces.
The CSTO, which comprises Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, agreed in early February to set up the rapid-reaction force, transforming the loosely organized CSTO into a more NATO-like military alliance, complete with UN-Peacekeeping responsibilities and armed with modern compatible weapons and military hardware.
The new forces, which is slated to hold drills in Kazajhstan in September, will consist of large military units from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. The Rapid Reaction Force has been described by the Kremlin as comparable to NATO forces. It’s primary role will be to repulse military aggression, provide peacekeeping operations in conflict zones, conduct anti-terrorist operations, fight transnational crime and drug trafficking, and neutralize the effects of natural disasters.