The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) has expressed its readiness to help Tajikistan in the situation following the offensive of the Taliban (banned in Tajikistan and other Central Asian countries) in northern Afghanistan. Experts believe that Moscow, a key member of the CSTO, will not ask for anything in return, as it is interested in stability along the Tajik-Afghan border

An article posted on’s website notes that the so-called successes of the Taliban terrorist movement (banned in Tajikistan and other Central Asian countries) in northern Afghanistan have caused particular concern in Tajikistan.

Militants now control about 80 percent of Afghanistan’s border with Tajikistan, according to various sources, in the provinces of Balkh, Kunduz, Takhar and Badakhshan.

On July 5, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon instructed the country’s defense ministry to mobilize 20,000 reserve troops to strengthen the Tajik-Afghan border.

Military experts from the Russian and Uzbek defense ministries have already arrived in Tajikistan to prepare for a joint anti-terrorist exercise to be held August 1-10 at the Harbmaidon training range in Tajikistan. 

Also, Defense Minister Sherali Mirzo held talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoygu on July 24. The ministers discussed the situation along the Tajik-Afghan border and joint measures to address threats related to the aggravation of the situation in Afghanistan.

In early July, at a meeting of the CSTO Permanent Council, Hasan Sultonov, Tajikistan’s Permanent and Plenipotentiary Representative to the CSTO, described the situation on the Tajik-Afghan border and asked for help.

At the end of June, the CSTO declared its readiness to provide Tajikistan with all necessary assistance in connection with the situation on the border with Afghanistan.

On July 7-9, a CSTO task force, led by CSTO Joint Staff chief Anatoly Sidorov, visited Tajikistan to assess the situation along its common border with Afghanistan.  As a result of the visit, Anatoly Sidorov stated that Tajikistan needs technical assistance to protect the border with Afghanistan, but there is no need to involve joint forces of the organization.

Tajik political scientist Ma’ruf Abdujabborov said the CSTO can assist Tajikistan in various ways.

“It could be a regular exchange of information on the level of dangers and threats emanating from Afghanistan. Simultaneously, we could conduct tactical exercises to increase the combat readiness of border troops,” Abdujabborov said, noting that military-and-technical cooperation and, if necessary, involvement of CSTO forces for direct participation in military operations could also be involved.

Abdujabborov pointed out that border security is not the only task for Tajikistan as a CSTO member.  He believes that Russia, as a key CSTO country, will not make demands on Tajikistan in exchange for aid, as this could call into question the “integrity” of the organization.

Rahmatullo Abdulloyev, a Tajik expert on Afghanistan and Iran, believes it is in Russia’s interest to help Tajikistan protect its southern border. The expert recalled that Tajikistan has the largest Russian military base abroad.  In his opinion, Russia, of course, expects something from Tajikistan in return for this assistance, especially in the issue of joining the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).

“The CSTO is a military organization with a specific purpose. The charter of the organization says that if a member state is threatened or attacked, it means all those states are attacked.  Given Russia’s key role in the region, it also wants to pursue its economic and military interests in the region through this organization,” Abdulloyev said.

Article 4 of the Collective Security Treaty stipulates that “If one of the States Parties is subjected to aggression (armed attack threatening security, stability, territorial integrity and sovereignty), this shall be regarded by the States Parties as aggression (armed attack threatening security, stability, territorial integrity and sovereignty) against all States Parties to this Treaty.  In the event of aggression (armed attack threatening the security, stability, territorial integrity and sovereignty) against any of the States Parties, all other States Parties shall, at the request of that State Party, immediately provide it with the necessary assistance, including military assistance, as well as support with the means at their disposal in the exercise of the right of collective defense in accordance with Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations.”

Military expert Sharif Salimov drew attention to Article 4 of the treaty establishing the CSTO, which talks about the obligations of all parties in case one of the countries is attacked. In the event of a Taliban incursion into Tajikistan, the CSTO would provide Tajikistan with all necessary military aid without asking for anything in return, he said.