MOSCOW (Eurasianet)–Russia will sell arms to members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) at “discounted prices” and CSTO officials and their families are to be granted diplomatic status, Russian news agencies are reporting.
President Dmitry Medvedev signed the relevant laws on May 8. Alexei Ostrovsky, the head of the Duma Committee on Commonwealth of Independent States Affairs, said the move would “effectively combat terrorism” and bolster law enforcement agencies.
Separately, CSTO military exercises will go ahead in August in Kazakhstan with the participation of China, the Chinese news agency Xinhua reported.
CSTO Secretary General Nikolai Bordyuzha was quoted as saying on May 7 that war games would not be held in the Caucasus. “We do not plan to respond,” he said in references to NATO’s ongoing mock-maneuvers in Georgia.
The CSTO comprises Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.