CHARTER OF THE COLLECTIVE SECURITY TREATY ORGANIZATION, dated October 07, 2002, (as amended by the Protocol on amendments to the Charter of the Collective Security Treaty Organization of October 07, 2002, signed on December 10, 2010), Aprl 27, 2012.
The Treaty is subordinate to the United Nations Charter, whicj in Article 103 establishes the following:
In the event of a conflict between the obligations of the Members of the United Nations under the present Charter and their obligations under any other international agreement, their obligations under the present Charter shall prevail.
Consequently, any action involving the use of force against the territial integrity or political independence of any state, e.g., Kazakhstan, is prohibited no matter what the CSTO Charter says.
The President of the CSTO, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pachinian, according to Le Monde and AFP (see below), declared on FaceBook that the alliance had decided to send “a collective peacekeeping force for a limited duration of time in order to stabilize and normalize the situation in this country, which has been provoked by a foreign intervention (une ingérence extérieur).
This sounds like collective self-defense in response to a foreign intervention. It is important to note that Armenia has become increasingly dependent on Russia following the Turkish-backed invasion by Azerbaijan of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Russia’s legal justification for intervening in Kazakhstan is similar to its legal gustification for intervening in Czechoslovakia in 1968 under the terms of the Warsaw Treaty.
The key here is the extent to which the request by the President of Kazakhstan for assistance from CSTO member states was itself legitimate, after the government had resigned.
Important questions include the following:
1) When was the request made? Was it on the initiative of Kazakhstan, or Russia?
2) What were the precise terms of the request? (A cooy of the request should be made public immediately.)
3) Were the decision procedures of the CSTO followed in making the decision to send troops to Kazakhstan? When and how did each member state vote on the decision?
4) Are the troops being sent in exercise of the right of collective self-defense under Article 51 of the U.N. Charter? If so, have the member states of the CSTO brought the matter to the Security Council for approval, as required by Article 51?
5) Has Russia or the CSTO published its legal justification for sending troops to Kazakhstan? If not, when will it be published?
Russia cannot use the cover of the CSTO to intervene in civil unrest in Kazakhstan unless the request was by a legitimate government authority, and the sending of troops does not violate the sovereignty or political independence of Kazakhstan or other principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter. Articles 2 (1) and 2 (4) of the U.N. Charter.
For the latest developments, see,
1) Le Monde avec AFP, “Kazakhstan : le président décrète l’état d’urgence, Moscou et ses alliés envoient une « force de maintien de la paix »; Des manifestants ont pénétré, mercredi, dans un bâtiment de la mairie d’Almaty, la capitale économique du pays, secoué par un mouvement de colère depuis dimanche. Les manifestants dénoncent notamment la hausse des prix du gaz,” Le Monde, le 5 janvier 2022 (05h46, mis à jour le 6 janvier 2022/à 04h30):
2) Le Monde avec AFP, “Au Kazakhstan, des dizaines de manifestants tués par la police; Les victimes sont en cours d’identification, a précisé la police. Depuis dimanche, le pays est le théâtre de manifestations importantes en réaction à la hausse des prix du gaz,”:Le Monde, le 6 janvier 2022 (à 08h09).
3) Isabelle Khurshudyan and Amy Cheng, “Russian peacekeepers arrive in protest-roiled Kazakhstan, where clashes have turned deadly,” Washington Post, January 6, 2022 (12:36 a.m.EST, |Updated at 1:47 a.m. EST);
4) Andrew Higgins, “In Kazakhstan, Putin Again Seizes on Unrest to Try to Expand Influence; But a series of revolts against a pro-Russian strongmen could also plant the seeds of rebellion at home, analysts say, New York Times, January 6, 2022
The Trenchant Observer