Bojan Nenezic's Blog

Advantages of CSTO Partnership: Should Serbia Strive to a Full Membership in the Organization?

May 18, 2022

Serbia is currently an observer country in the CSTO, and such a position provides particular privileges. In today’s turbulent world rife with various international conflicts, such a position in the organization adds to national security. Serbia is generally a small country in comparison with larger nations.



With approximately 7.1 million citizens and 88.499 square kilometers, it could face different difficulties in a potential military conflict against a stronger and larger aggressor. The cooperation between friendly nations, therefore, improves defense capabilities of the country. Soldiers and command staff may gain new skills while extending their knowledge, and the country may get different types of military support.

They can also deepen the professional and personal contacts between nations and participants, and it can boost further relations in various ways.

The CSTO is a defense organization founded by some of the world superpowers, such as Russia, for example. It is the biggest member and leader of the international organization. The observer status, therefore, means the military support will eventually be provided by a country with a huge army capacity. That is, of course, more than beneficial for any small country, including Serbia.

However, the observer status has some disadvantages, too. First, it provides just a limited access to the benefits that the CSTO provides to its members. It is certainly more than nothing, but it is also far less than maximum.

As mentioned, the world is currently a dangerous place. Particular powerful groups of individuals in some large countries secretly support different types of evil doing. They hiddenly provide aid to various terror groups, support drug trafficking and illegal arm trading to gain extra profit for their black funds.

Still, such activities may cause significant damage to those not involved in that kind of business. The world is currently covered with various threats of this type, so defense is the most important thing a nation can provide to itself.

It supports the country's development and financial growth. People and businesses can function normally, and it is safe to invest money in such a shielded territory.

Serbia is, however, often in a quite delicate situation. As a country from the Balkan Peninsula, it is surrounded by many member states of NATO. The region is known for its turbulent past with many conflicts throughout history. Some politicians and political experts believe that it is a good reason for the country to join NATO, too. But Serbia was a part of Yugoslavia has been ruled by the communist party for decades. The country and its president at that time, Josip Broz Tito, were one of the founders of the Non-Aligned Movement.

Yugoslavia was actually an opponent of the Western Bloc that formed The North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It is well known that the country’s secret service organized many covert operations in Western Europe during those decades under the rule of the Communist Party.

Yugoslavia was a federation composed of six member states. Serbia was by far the biggest member and the leader of the federal country. It was seen as such by the West and the Western politicians blamed that state for most things.

The long-term conflict ended with the war against NATO. The country was demolished, many important objects and buildings destroyed with thousands of civil casualties during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999.

In 2006, Montenegro declared independence. That was the final collapse of the federal country. To avoid further conflicts, Serbia has been forced to improve the relationship with NATO. It has mostly been done through the official channels while regular citizens disagree with those relationships. They still see the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as the main enemy of the country. The war wounds are still painful and traumatic memories are fresh.

Serbia has always had a good relationship with Russia and the former USSR. The connection between two sovereign countries has provided many benefits throughout the entire history. We have always been on the same side and never enemies. It is a logical partnership between friendly countries and real allies.

However, some politicians from Serbia support the idea of the country’s membership in NATO because of some opportunistic reasons while neglecting the realistic ones. For example, they have been receiving donations from some of the NATO countries or they believe they may get political support from the Bloc during the elections. They also think it would be good for Serbia to join the alliance because different NATO member countries already surround the country.

The reality, however, disapproves such an opinion. By observing the matter closer, it is easier to see the good days of The North Atlantic Treaty Organization are actually a past. The alliance is in retreat while Russia and the CSTO have been winning various battles. They, for example, won the war against Islamic terrorist and fanatics in Syria.

They helped implement peace in Kazakhstan, and they have used different diplomatic resources to keep safe various unstable regions around the world. Russia also has a crucial advantage against Neo-Nazism and radical fanatics in Ukraine.

These are some of the clear signs the CSTO has made significant advantages in the global arena, so it is clear the organization knows very well how to protect its members, allies, and the entire humanity.

Close international relations with such a military alliance can clearly bring a lot of benefits to the full member. Small nations may not be able to defend themselves alone against stronger and more aggressive opponents. However, they do not need to make forced alliances with unfriendly countries just to ensure the peace in their territories. They also do not need to serve more powerful countries contrary to their real interests.

The world is big enough and all can protect themselves efficiently through real partnerships and non-hostile international relations. There are different options on the table and such international circumstances will bring more peace and stability to the world in the future.

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  1. In your opinion, what are the US long-term goals for Russia?
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