22:12 GMT11 August 2020
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    A top Russian general has voiced his frustration over NATO's lack of cooperation with a Russian-led alliance involving countries from the former Soviet space, saying that the Western alliance doesn't seem to want countries in the former USSR to ally with one another, allowing NATO pick them off one by one at their leisure.

    Col. Gen. Nikolai Bordyuzha is secretary general of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a military alliance between six former Soviet states: Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Speaking at a press conference in Moscow on Wednesday, he had some harsh words for Russia's NATO partners.

    The North Atlantic Alliance, he said, has been consistently opposed to any military integration between Russia and its partners in the CSTO, and the reason is that NATO wants to deprive these countries of their collective security guarantees.

    "Why do you think NATO does not cooperate with the CSTO?" the general asked. "It's simple – they have no need to support processes of [defense] integration. This way, things will be like in Syria, and nobody will be able to let out a peep. The country is being pounded, and there's no one to help them, since it didn't have any allies. And this is the situation they want to create for us as well," Bordyuzha said, referring to the members of the CSTO.

    Furthermore, the officer warned that the Western media has been engaged in what he called campaign of information warfare against the CSTO. "They will tell lies all day, every day. Everything that is being said about the CSTO is presented in a way that's the opposite to how things are in reality," Bordyuzha noted. "This is done, for example, "in order to ensure that Tajikistan was not together with Russia," he added.

    Ultimately, Bordyuzha suggested that the Western political, media and military effort's "most important task is to splinter our unity, to separate our nations into our own 'national apartments', and to dictate their terms to everyone individually."

    In this scenario, the officer emphasized while that the CSTO has no absolutely no plans to fight a war of aggression against NATO, neither does it fear an attack by the Western alliance. "That's why the CSTO exists," Bordyuzha quipped.

    The Collective Security Treaty Organization, formed in 1992, shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union, integrates the defense capabilities of its six member states. Afghanistan and Serbia became observers to the organization in 2013. Former members include Azerbaijan, Georgia and Uzbekistan.

    Signatories to the alliance are not able to join other military alliances, and aggression against one member is considered aggression against all. The CSTO holds yearly command exercises and drills to improve coordination between its states militaries, the most recent being Cooperation-2016, which took place last month in Russia's Pskov region.


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