Каталог статей из сборников научных конференций и научных журналов- SCO and regional security issues in Central Asia

Научный мультидисциплинарный журнал
Paradigmata poznání. - 2021. - № 1

SCO and regional security issues in Central Asia

G. T. Ichshanova PhD, law, ass.professor

ORCID 0000-0002-2912-2752, e-mail: gulnar_tore@mail.ru,

A. M. Melis Master's degree

ORCID 0000-0003-1779-2078, e-mail: amer_1994@mail.ru,

University of International Business,

Almaty, Kazakhstan


Today the SCO has established itself as one of the effective dialogue platforms between the Central Asian countries, Russia and China on political, socio-economic issues. Of course, in the first place is the issue of maintaining peace and security in the Central Asian region. The fundamental principles of interaction between the SCO members are: not the use of force or the threat of force in the settlement of interstate conflicts; the use of military forces only in the case of self-defense; State security is not equal to military power; reduction of the army and armaments.

It is cooperation in the field of security, economy, trade and in the humanitarian sphere that is the main vectors of the organization's work, where security is in the first place.

The reasons for the creation of the SCO were two factors – intraregional and geopolitical. The first group includes the need to create an effective mechanism for resolving border disputes between the countries of the Central Asian region after the collapse of the USSR in connection with the changed status of the former Soviet republics.

The second group includes the strengthening of the geopolitical positions of major players in the international arena, in addition to China and Russia, these are the EU and Turkey.

In accordance with the Declaration on the Establishment of the SCO, the main goals of this organization were:

- maintaining and ensuring peace and security in the region

- stable development of the region

- cooperation in the political, economic, humanitarian and cultural spheres [1].

The SCO member states firmly adhere to the goals and principles of the UN Charter in building their foreign policy, without committing illegal actions against each other and third countries. The task was also set to develop dialogue and partnership with all states, international and regional organizations on the basis of universal agreement and respect for each other.

There is also another document that provides a detailed definition of such phenomena as "terrorism", "extremism", "separatism", that is, for the first time in world history, a definition of these concepts is given, it contributes to a unified interpretation and application of certain means in counteracting such manifestations ...

In 2002, the heads of the SCO member states signed the SCO Charter, the RATS Agreement and the Declaration of the Heads of State, which became program documents regulating the legal aspects of cooperation within the framework of this organization.

The created RATS has become a permanent body of the SCO, which contributes to the improvement of mutual cooperation of states in the fight against terrorism, separatism, extremism and illegal migration, in close contact with law enforcement agencies of the countries and special services.

In 2005, at the summit in Astana (now Nursultan - author), a Declaration was adopted, according to which deadlines were set for the withdrawal of infrastructure facilities and the presence of military contingents on the territory of Central Asian countries [2]. At the summit, they proposed to solve this problem on a bilateral basis with the Central Asian countries separately, believing that there is pressure on them from Washington. In the same year, the military base in Khanabad was closed in Uzbekistan, the Uzbek side motivated this decision by its own foreign policy considerations.

Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan at that moment did not go to the dismantling of American and French military bases. However, on June 20, 2013, the Parliament of Kyrgyzstan denounced an agreement with the United States concerning the use of the Manas airport by the American military [3].

Today, the United States also shows interest in Tajikistan in connection with the situation in Afghanistan, as some political analysts believe, the appearance of American military bases is only a matter of time [4].

Strengthening the authority of the SCO was facilitated by the awarding of observer status in the SCO at the summit in Astana (Nursultan) to three countries - India, Pakistan and Iran. At one time, the United States attempted to obtain observer status in the SCO, but did not receive support from the organization's members.

In July 2006, there were 4 observer countries in the SCO, and there was a question about their entry into the ranks of the SCO. However, the aggravation of the international situation in connection with the deployment of Iran's nuclear program, the issue of membership remained unresolved. After that, the SCO strategy underwent changes and was aimed at consolidating the inner circle of participants while maintaining the interaction of the SCO member states with the Central Asian region.

The Bishkek summit in 2007 reaffirmed its commitment to its goals, as a result of which a multilateral agreement on long-term good-neighborliness, friendship and cooperation was signed [5]. The Declaration stated that stability and security in Central Asia can be achieved only by joint efforts of the states of this region on the basis of regional international organizations established in it.

From 2004 to 2019, a number of large-scale military exercises were held under the symbolic name "Peace Mission".

On August 29, 2014, the largest military exercises in the history of the SCO took place in China. They were called Peace Mission 2014.

The official reason for this was the planned withdrawal of the Western Alliance troops from Afghanistan. The Peace Mission 2016 exercise was held in September in the Republic of Kyrgyzstan (Issyk-Kul), where Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan took part, the exercises were aimed at eliminating the militants.

Also in September 2019, the Center-2019 exercise was held, in which fighters from eight SCO member states conducted joint combat maneuvers to ensure military security in the Central Asian region and for the first time at the training grounds of member states [6]. The anti-terrorist exercises of the member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Peace Mission 2020 will be held for the first time at the Yurginsky training ground in the Kemerovo Region [7].

The role of the RATS has increased in connection with the intensification of the work of the SCO member states in countering the challenges of the time. So at the Astana summit in 2005 a number of documents were signed:

- Agreement on the data bank of the SCO RATS [8].

- Agreement on ensuring the protection of classified information.

The peculiarity of the geopolitical location of Central Asia is that this region was close to the places of formation of ISIS, with the ensuing consequences. To this day, there is a threat of the penetration of ISIS terrorist groups, and therefore the tasks of the RATS have become much more complicated. There was a need for a quick response to recent events in the world, for taking adequate measures to ensure security directly in the SCO zone.

Every year RATS reports on its work, reacts on time to all events taking place in the world. So on March 6, 2020, the RATS Executive Committee made a statement in connection with the outbreak of the new coronavirus. The RATS website has a special section devoted to anti-terrorist activities, a list of persons put on the international wanted list, suspected of terrorist, separatist and extremist crimes, has been approved. The formation of the Unified Investigative Register of Security Bodies and Special Services of the SCO Member States has begun [8].

In order to search for persons involved in acts of terrorism, separatism and extremism, the Executive Committee maintains a Unified Investigative Register, which includes about 3,000 people.

Since 20015, a Table has been developed and maintained for the specified category of persons (more than about 2000 people), which is associated with the need to exchange operational information regarding foreign terrorist fighters taking part in hostilities on the side of international terrorist organizations [8].

The SCO has the necessary mechanisms for multi-vector interaction between the member states in any area. He became recognizable in the international arena, having received the status of an observer at the UN General Assembly, successfully developing partnerships with many international organizations, including the CIS, CSTO, EAEU, ASEAN, etc.

The Council of Heads of State approved a set of measures for their implementation in order to successfully resist:

- new challenges and threats posed by the international terrorist organization ISIS

- activities of the international organization "Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami"

- displacement of persons to areas of high terrorist activity to participate in terrorist and extremist activities

- not to give space for campaigning and recruitment of persons in places of deprivation of liberty in terrorist and extremist organizations

- the spread of radical religious literature

- the use of Internet resources by terrorists, separatists and extremists for their own purposes.

Also carry out work with people who have returned after participating in armed conflicts on the side of international terrorists, separatists and extremists.

These measures will help the SCO countries, or rather its competent authorities, to carry out work on the establishment, detention and prosecution and extradition of citizens involved in terrorism, separatism and extremism, to carry out preventive measures.

In 2018 alone, a large number of those who intended to leave for Syria to participate in hostilities on the side of the militants were detained, and terrorist acts were also prevented, which were prepared by citizens of the SCO member states who returned from the conflict zone in order to introduce ideas of radicalism among their compatriots. The special services of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia detained 9 members of terrorist groups planning terrorist acts in Moscow, including on Victory Day. By joint efforts of the national security agencies of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, on the territory of Kazakhstan, two citizens were detained and deported to Kyrgyzstan, these are the member countries of the ITO "Zhannat Oshiklari", sent from Syria to commit terrorist acts in Central Asia [9, p. 18].

The destabilization of the situation in the Central Asian region is associated with the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and the aggravation of the situation in Syria, the expansion of the sphere of influence of ISIS and other extremist movements. All this creates a threat to the implementation of many projects within the SCO, moreover, the participating countries have specific features regarding politics, economics, and the proximity to conflict zones must also be taken into account. Therefore, external threats can influence the state of affairs in one country or another in different ways and destabilize the SCO. In such a situation, a careful, gradual military-political evolution is necessary, it is necessary to strengthen the force component of the organization, which is beneficial to all its members.

There are all the prerequisites and conditions for this – the functioning of the RATS, the annual military exercises "Peace Mission", meetings of defense ministers, the creation of a peacekeeping contingent, etc. Thus, the SCO is still only a dialogue platform, albeit an efficient one. At the same time, it loses the opportunity to occupy its niche in the system of regional organizations and begin constructive work. The SCO, the EAEU and the CSTO overlap in their composition and functions, so for many member countries this will not be an unbearable burden. Therefore, it is necessary to revise the program documents for repetition and revise, if any, up to folding. This will allow us to face new challenges of the time.

An important indicator in this aspect is the lack of a spirit of unity and corporatism between the SCO members, the desire to find a compromise in order to achieve mutually beneficial decisions, therefore, the adoption of new members, with their mutual territorial claims, can lead to a weakening of the SCO, rather than strengthening. Moreover, the new SCO members will consider their participation not from the standpoint of resolving existing international problems, but the realization of their national interests. There are no special forces and a coordination headquarters, and real international interaction of the SCO member states is carried out on a bilateral basis, led by Russia and China.

It is not unimportant for us that the national security of the country directly depends on the level of cooperation with international structures and the climate of relations between these structures. Kazakhstan and the countries of Central Asia at the moment can only rely on the help of the CSTO, and, therefore, the CIS countries need to do everything in order to revive the work of the CSTO as a structure acting as a guarantor and mechanism of cooperation in the field of collective security.

The problems of ensuring regional security can be overcome only with close military cooperation between the countries of the region. Therefore, the question of returning to the almost forgotten consolidating projects in a new format or creating fundamentally modernized projects in the face of the latest threats and challenges of our time remains highly relevant.


1. Declaration of the Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization of July 6, 2005 / http://www.akorda.kz/ru/events/deklaraciya-glav-gosudarstv-chlenov-shanhaiskoi-organizacii-sotrudnichestva (date of treatment 11/27/2020)

2.Five years after the denunciation of the agreement on the US airbase: Afterword or how the geopolitical context has changed / https://knews.kg/2018/06/25/pyat-let-posle-vyvoda-aviabazy-ssha-iz-kyrgyzstana-posleslovie- ili-kak-izmenilsya-geopoliticheskij-kontekst / (date of treatment 11/28/2020)

3.The United States is showing a military interest in Tajikistan / http://www.ng.ru/cis/2017-03-27/1_6958_usa.html (date of treatment 04/27/2020)

4. Treaty on long-term good-neighborliness, friendship and cooperation of the SCO member states (16.08.2007) / http://infoshos.ru/ru/?id=22 (date of treatment 11.30.2020)

5. Agreement on Long-term Good Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation of the SCO Member States (16.08.2007) / http://infoshos.ru/ru/?id=22 (date of treatment 11.29.2020)

6. The exercises of the SCO countries - a new format of military cooperation / https://interaffairs.ru/news/show/23514 (date of treatment 11/29/2020)

7. The SCO exercises Peaceful Mission 2020 will be held for the first time on the territory of Siberia / https://function.mil.ru/news_page/country/more.htm?id=12269582@egNews (date of treatment 12/30/2020)

8. Agreement on the databank of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization / http://docs.cntd.ru/document/456089241 (date of treatment 12/30/2020)

9. Chukalova R.R. Military-political cooperation of the Republic of Kazakhstan with the CIS countries in the light of new challenges // Abstract of a dissertation ... degree of doctor (PhD). - Astana, 2019 - 30 p.

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