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Uzbekistan Suspends Membership In CSTO

Uzbekistan has suspended its membership in the Moscow-dominated Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).

CSTO spokesman Vladimir Zainetdinov said Uzbekistan had sent a note informing the alliance about the suspension of its involvement in SCTO activities.

RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports that Tashkent had informed the CSTO about its decision four days ago, saying it ignores Uzbekistan and does not listen to its opinions.

Besides Uzbekistan, the security treaty brings together six former Soviet republics, including Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.

The alliance was set up in 1992 in a meeting in Tashkent.

Uzbekistan once already suspended its membership in 1999. However, Tashkent returned to the CSTO again in 2006 after it came under international criticism for its brutal crackdown of antigovernment demonstrations in the eastern city of Andijon in May 2005.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and ITAR-TASS