On October 7, 2002, the Presidents of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan, signed a charter in Chişinău, founding the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) (Russian: Организация Договора о Коллективной Безопасности (ОДКБ~ODKB)) or simply Ташкентский договор (The Tashkent Treaty). Nikolai Bordyuzha was appointed secretary general of the new organization. On 23 June 2006, Vladimir Putin announced that Uzbekistan had also joined the CSTO. The CSTO is an observer organization at the United Nations General Assembly.
The charter reaffirmed the desire of all participating states to abstain from the use or threat of force. Signatories would not be able to join other military alliances or other groups of states, while aggression against one signatory would be perceived as an aggression against all. To this end, the CSTO holds yearly military command exercises for the CSTO nations to have an opportunity to improve inter-organization cooperation. The largest-scale CSTO military exercise held to date were the "Rubezh 2008" exercises hosted in Armenia where a combined total of 4,000 troops from all 7 constituent CSTO member countries conducted operative, strategic, and tactical training with an emphasis towards furthering efficiency of the collective security element of the CSTO partnership.
The CSTO employs a "rotating presidency" system in which the country leading the CSTO alternates every year. Currently Armenia has the CSTO presidency.
The CST was set to last for a 5-year period unless extended. On April 2, 1999, only six members of the CST signed a protocol renewing the treaty for another five year period -- Azerbaijan, Georgia and Uzbekistan refused to sign and withdrew from the treaty instead. At the same time Uzbekistan joined the GUAM group, established in 1997 by Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Moldova, and largely seen as intending to counter Russian influence in the region.
In October 2007, the CSTO signed an agreement with the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), in the Tajik capital Dushanbe, to broaden cooperation on issues such as security, crime, and drug trafficking.
On October 6, 2007, CSTO members agreed to a major expansion of the organization that would create a CSTO peacekeeping force that could deploy under a U.N. mandate or without one in its member states. The expansion would also allow all members to purchase Russian weapons at the same price as Russia.
On August 29, 2008, Russia announced it would seek CSTO recognition of the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Three days before, on August 26, Russia recognized the independence of Georgia's breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.