Stratfor discusses the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) will never be a counter-weight to NATO as Russia has advertised. But how could it be when the "alliance" is weighted toward Central Asia?
The analysis is useful, but I don't understand why there is even a question of whether the grouping will be a counter-weight to NATO when the only non-Russian member of the CSTO is Belarus. Just who in Central Asia or the Caucasus would volunteer troops for duty against Poland and the Baltic NATO states?
Indeed, Russia's invasion of Ukraine gave Belarus and Armenia reason to question their position within the CSTO, as the article notes. [Uzbekistan, Georgia, and Azerbaijan have withdrawn from the CSTO as this newer Stratfor piece about how the organization is broken as a military alliance writes--this is a pre-posting update.]
To me, the alliance has always been about pretending to rebuild the USSR's borders for the purpose of containing China by preventing China from supplanting Russian influence in Central Asia.
Talk of opposing NATO is just camouflage to hide a weak (compared to China) Russia's interest in resisting China even as it pretends that efforts to claw back military power are to face a NATO that is not a military threat.
Not that growing Russian military power isn't a threat to NATO. It is.
But the Russians have to know that the real threat to Russian territory comes from China which might revive their claims to lost territories in the Far East that Russia grabbed from a weak China in the 19th century. 2020 looms, eh?