Moscow’s Terrorist Attack: The rupture of Russia-Tajikistan relations dissolves the CSTO

The terrorist attack in Moscow could lead to a rift in relations between Russia and one of its long-time allies, Tajikistan. Russia says the suspects in the Moscow terror attack came from Tajikistan, which the country denies.

The terrorist attack in Moscow leads to a rupture in Russian-Tajikistan relations

ISIS-K, an offshoot of the Islamic State group, claimed responsibility for the attack. Gunmen opened fire inside the Crocus City Hall music venue, killing 137 people and injuring at least 145 others. The US also said the group was behind the attack, citing intelligence.

Russian state media reported that four suspects were identified as citizens of Tajikistan. Tajikistan, a Central Asian country, has deep historical ties to Russia and was once part of the former Soviet Union.

It is now part of the Russian-led “Collective Security Treaty Organization” (CSTO), which Russian President Vladimir Putin has long hoped would be the East’s equivalent of NATO.

The suggestion that the attackers were from Tajikistan could raise new tensions between the country and Russia.

Tajikistan has already tried to distance itself from the attack. His foreign ministry said Saturday’s reports that its citizens were involved were “false”.

The country’s interior ministry also said two of the suspects initially named by Russian media were in Tajikistan at the time of the attack. Meanwhile, Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon told Putin on Sunday that “terrorists have no nationality, homeland and religion,” his office said.

Russia due to the invasion of Ukraine is gradually losing the support of countries of the CSTO

While its ties to China and North Korea have grown, Russia has become more politically and diplomatically isolated on the world stage since it launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Even longtime allies with close cultural and economic ties, including Tajikistan, have voiced their frustrations.

The first clouds in Russia-Tajikistan relations appeared in 2022

In October 2022, Rahmon appeared to berate Putin to his face, demanding respect for his country. Rahmon had said that Tajikistan should “beg” Russia to join a forum. “They never treat us like strategic partners! Without wanting to offend them, we want them to respect us!”.

Russia’s relations with other CSTO members are also increasingly strained, particularly between Russia and post-Soviet states, a sign that the alliance in question is crumbling.

CSTO members “reviewed” the invasion of Ukraine and believed that Russia was now unlikely to be able to protect them, pointing out that it might even attack them.

Armenia suspended its participation in the CSTO

Earlier this year, Armenia’s president said the country was suspending its membership in the CSTO after frequently criticizing it and Russia.

The suspects in the attack are citizens of Tajikistan and have not denied ISIS involvement. Neither ISIS nor the US has commented on the nationality of the attackers, and ISIS is recruiting terrorists in the country.

Russia is doing everything to implicate Ukraine in Moscow’s terrorist attack

Putin said over the weekend that the attackers tried to flee to Ukraine after the attack and that Kiev was helping them escape. Ukraine denies any involvement in the attack.

The aim is to blame Ukraine, so that they as a government (Russia) avoid responsibility and use it to intensify the attacks against it.

ISIS likely took advantage of Russia’s distraction from the conflict in Ukraine. ISIS found it relatively easy to hit Moscow. Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russia could have stopped the attack if it had not attacked Ukraine.

Russia Loses Influence in Caucasus-Turkey Benefits

From the above we understand that Russia is losing its influence in the Caucasus more and more, mainly due to its involvement in the war in Ukraine and the wedge of Turkey through Azerbaijan and “Organization of Turkic States”.

The terrorist attack in Moscow will result in a coldness in Tajikistan-Russia relations.

Consequently, after Armenia, we see Putin “losing” his close ally and Tajikistan, with the “Collective Security Treaty Organization” (CSTO) going, if not to dissolution, to a significant degradation.

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