The exercises held at the Matybulak military training ground involved joint action by a Collective Rapid Reaction Force (CRRF) contingent to destroy enemy forces. Under the scenario, an armed group seized a chemicals plant and the CRRF contingent had to neutralise the gunmen and free the hostages.
Mr Medvedev watched the military manoeuvres together with President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kyrgyzstan Kurmanbek Bakiev, President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan, and President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon.
During the exercises in Kazakhstan all of the CRRF servicemen, and the presidents of the five CSTO countries present, wore new Russian-made uniforms.
Up to 7,000 servicemen and more than 300 tanks, armoured personnel carriers and aircraft were engaged in the exercises. Russia was represented by the 31st paratroops attack brigade, the 54th artillery brigade, as well as Air Force and Emergency Situations Ministry units.
The first stage of the large-scale Cooperation 2009 exercises took place at the end of August at the CSTO joint staff headquarters in Moscow. The second stage, held as part of the Zapad 2009 strategic exercises, took place at the end of September in Belarus, and the third stage was held in Kazakhstan.
The CSTO member states decided to establish the CRRF at the organisation’s summit on February 24, 2009, in Moscow in order to protect member states’ territorial integrity and sovereignty, guarantee security and respond to large-scale crisis situations in member countries.
The CSTO member states are Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.