“Public opinion would not welcome the army's participation in the Indestructible Brotherhood-2022 exercise because of the recent conflict with Tajikistan.  Therefore, we had to cancel the exercise,” Edil Baisalov, Deputy Chairman of Kyrgyzstan’s Cabinet of Ministers, told RIA Novosti on October 10.

According to him, “[Kyrgyzstan’s] membership in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) is absolutely indestructible.”

“We have no problem with this organization. We have no problem with the mandate, the mission and the charter of this organization.  But of course, in the light of recent events, the blood has not cooled,” Baisalov said, specifying that he is talking about military clashes with Tajik neighbors. 

Recall, official Bishkek on October 9 announced that it is canceling military exercise for CSTO military personnel.  The exercise, dubbed The Indestructible Brotherhood-2022, was reportedly scheduled for October 10-14 and was to include military personnel from all six member nations of the CSTO – Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan.

Besides, observers from five further nations, including Mongolia, Serbia, Syria, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, had also been invited.

The Kyrgyz defense ministry did not specify the reason for cancelling the exercise, but some experts supposed that the exercise had been canceled due to the recent deadly clashes along Kyrgyzstan’s common border with Tajikistan.

Kyrgyz lawmakers have reportedly objected to Tajikistan being allowed to participate in the CSTO exercise in Kyrgyzstan.

Experts says the move by Bishkek is the latest indication that tensions may be simmering within the alliance.  Last month, Armenia skipped a two-week drill held by the collective in Kazakhstan, after criticizing the bloc for failing to openly side with it after large-scale fighting erupted on its border with non-member Azerbaijan in September.

Founded in 1992, the Collective Security Treaty Organization is a Russia-led military alliance currently grouping the six former Soviet republics of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan.