Russia and Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) decide to send troops to Kazakhstan–text of CSTO Charter



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 #ubirdinate 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 tge 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 nirmalize the situation in this country, which has been provoked by a foreign intervention (une ingérence extérieur).

This sounds like collective seld-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 tge 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 interfere 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

About the Author

James Rowles
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by James Rowles (aka "The Observer"), an author and international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. Dr. Rowles is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States OAS), in Wasington, D.C., , where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, Dr. Rowles has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. Dr. Rowles speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.=LL.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, Dr. Rowles has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on some the best articles that have appeared in the blog.

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