Belarus is an active member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). Created in 2003, CSTO includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
As a factor of military and political deterrence, the Collective Security Treaty (CST) is defensive by nature with a focus on political means in preventing or settling conflicts. The CST state parties do not regard any country as a potential enemy and seek to maintain beneficial cooperation with all nations. The CST is open for joining by any country sharing its goals and principles.
Article 4 of the CST sets out the framework for assisting a Member State in case of aggression committed against it. Aggression against one member country is considered as aggression against all other member states.
Key purposes of the CSTO are to ensure national and collective defence, intensify military, political cooperation and integration, coordinate positions on international and regional security issues, encourage multilateral cooperation mechanisms, including military aspect, develop cooperation in tackling security threats and challenges such as international terrorism, drug trafficking, illegal migration, organized crime, post-conflict reconstruction in Afghanistan. There are a number of coordination boards and working groups within the CSTO to develop coordinated measures in these areas.
Structure of the CSTO features the supreme political body – Collective Security Council, advisory bodies – Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Council of Defence Ministers and the Committee of Secretaries of Security Councils.
International cooperation with other international and regional organizations is being developed. Principally, the CSTO has partnership with the UN, CIS, EAEC, SCO and OSCE.
Information and analytical aspect is critical in the CSTO activities: there is a system of information prevention of new threats, regular data-sharing and exchange of documents on the issues of foreign policy, security and defence.