As a sign of Central Asia’s slow but ongoing destabilization, the region’s governments are increasingly engaging in efforts to tighten security, with the assistance of the Kremlin. Russian President Vladimir Putin participated in a meeting on Dec. 21 of the Collective Security Council of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, an institution that includes Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. As in other recent regional summits, much of the discussion centered on security in Central Asia and efforts to fight terror groups. Russia maintains a military presence in Central Asia through its bases in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. For Moscow, as well as for Beijing and Washington, Central Asia is a key concern due to the fact that upheaval in the region could impact security interests in Afghanistan, as well as internal security in Russia and Western China.
Today, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced that Russia is rearming Kyrgyzstan’s milit