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15 Oct 2020

Lukashenko calls for CSTO development

Lukashenko calls for CSTO development

MINSK, 15 October (BelTA) – The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) is an important organization, and we must develop it, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with CSTO Director General Stanislav Zas on 15 October, BelTA has learned.

“The events here in August and the reaction to these events, first of all, in Russia show that this organization is very important, and we must develop it. In a conversation with Putin I spoke about it: now we have, probably, realized what the CSTO is and why we need it,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

On current activities and rescheduling of CSTO exercise

The COVID-19 pandemic has made adjustments to the activities of the CSTO. The majority of scheduled events are held online, part of operations and exercises has been rescheduled. For example, the anti-drug operation Kanal [Channel] and the operation to combat illegal migration Nelegal have been postponed till 2021.

Out of the seven scheduled events, only Echelon in Russia and Nerushimoye Bratstvo [Unbreakable Brotherhood] in Belarus were held this year. The remaining five – Vzaimodeistviye [Interaction] and Poisk [Search] in Armenia, Rubezh [Frontier] in Kyrgyzstan, Cobalt in Tajikistan and the rescuers' exercise in Russia – have been postponed till 2021.

The organization will continue doing its best to integrate its potential in the system of UN peacemaking activities. The ratification of the agreement on the legalization of the statuses of CSTO partners and observers is nearing completion. In this regards, plans have been made to expand cooperation with the CIS, the OSCE and the SCO; among states – with Serbia.

Besides, the CSTO has finished the development of the anti-drug strategy for 2021-2025.

Attitude to Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

After the escalation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict permanent working bodies of the CSTO did not receive any official statements from the Armenian side, the representatives of the organization say. At the same time, the CSTO Permanent Committee received a statement from the prime minister of Armenia, statements of the permanent representative of Armenia at the CSTO and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Previously, CSTO Secretary General Stanislav Zas had already expressed concerns and regrets over the resumption of the military conflict. The organization summoned Armenia and Azerbaijan to strive for peaceful settlement of the conflict and to restrain from provocative activities.

On preparations for CSTO summit

The session of the CSTO Collective Security Council is scheduled for 2 December. It is expected to take place in Moscow. Before that, plans have been made to hold a meeting of the CSTO Committee of Secretaries of Security Councils on 17 November and the meetings of ministers of defense and foreign affairs on 1 December.

The heads of state are expected to sign 17 documents, including the declaration of the CSTO Collective Security Council, a statement on the establishment of the just and sustainable world order, an agreement on army activities, a protocol on introducing amendments to the agreement on peacemaking operations. It is also expected that an anti-drug strategy of the CSTO member states for 2021-2025 will be approved.

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