Official: Abkhazia, S Ossetia to apply for CSTO membership. Unofficial: it's juridically impossible!
As I reported yesterday (Abkhazia and South Ossetia file application to join CSTO), the two new republics plan to apply for membership in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO).
MOSCOW, September 17 (Itar-Tass) -- Abkhazia and South Ossetia plan to apply for membership in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), Abkhazian President Sergei Bagapsh said.
“Prospects are very good. We will apply for membership in these organizations and hope for a positive decision,” Bagapsh told a press conference at Itar-Tass on Wednesday.
“I think our membership in the CIS and the CSTO, and especially in the Russia-Belarus Union State, is what we all need,” he said.
South Ossetian President Eduard Kokoity said, “This is another stage in the development of our states. We will strengthen these relations, but this will take time.”
Asked whether South Ossetia would join Russia, Kokoity said South Ossetia planned to join Russia by way of integration.
“South Ossetia intends to join Russia. South and North Ossetia are a part of Russia. We have never made a secret out of this,” Kokoity said.
“We are very grateful to the Russian people,” the South Ossetian president said.
But only ten days ago Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Abkhazia and South Ossetia cannot legally join the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) due to their status. (Russian FM: Abkhazia, South Ossetia legally impossible to join CSTO)
"It is judicially impossible because the members of the CSTO are states," Lavrov said in an interview with a Russian TV channel. He added that only a state recognized by all CSTO countries can be granted membership.
(The CSTO, a post-Soviet security alliance, comprises Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.)
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