Putin attends a session of CSTO Collective Security Council with Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan, President of Belarus Alyaksandr Lukashenka, President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Akylbek Japarov, President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon and Secretary General of the Collective Security Treaty Organization Stanislav Zas via videoconference on 10 January 2022. (Photo kremlin.ru)

Putin attends a session of CSTO Collective Security Council with Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan, President of Belarus Alyaksandr Lukashenka, President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Akylbek Japarov, President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon and Secretary General of the Collective Security Treaty Organization Stanislav Zas via videoconference on 10 January 2022. (Photo kremlin.ru) 

Opinion, Russia

Edited by: A. N.

If one to view the Russo-Ukrainian war as a stress test for Russia’s allies in the Eurasian Economic Community and the Organization for the Collective Security Treaty, all of them except for Belarus failed to come through for Moscow: they have remained neutral in what one Moscow commentator sees as “a silent betrayal.”

Mikhail Belyayev says that Kazakhstan’s position is inexplicable given that Russia made possible the January intervention there which prevented that Central Asian country from “slipping into chaos” but adds that the worst betrayal has been by Armenia which cannot survive without Russia.

But if the governments of these countries did not take public positions in support of Moscow’s invasion, they have in some cases followed the Russian government’s preferred nomenclature and have their official media refer to the fighting as a special military operation rather than as a war.

That is the case in Kazakhstan where only independent media call the war a war and use Ukrainian as well as Russian sources, a pattern that suggests where the media market there may be and why the government is taking a wait and see attitude.

This mixed approach is followed even by former Soviet republics that can hardly be described as allies of Russia. Georgia, for example, has denounced the Russian invasion but not joined the Western sanctions regime because its government says that isn’t in Georgia’s interest.

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Edited by: A. N.
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