Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan, President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sadyr Japarov, President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon and CSTO Secretary General Stanislav Zas met in a restricted format.
Talks continued in an extended format with members of the delegations, including foreign and defence ministers and security council secretaries from the CSTO member countries.
The summit participants discussed key areas of cooperation, as well as current international and regional problems.
A package of documents was signed following the meeting. The resolutions passed include developing cooperation between the CSTO and the CIS and the SCO; equipping the CSTO Peacekeeping Forces with modern arms, military and special hardware, and special means; establishing radiation, chemical and biological protection and other medical support for the CSTO; as well as communication and crisis response systems.
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Remarks at the restricted meeting of the Council on Collective Security of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO)
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, once again.
The dynamics of our joint work in the organisation have become more intensive this year. CSTO members are interacting within the joint mechanism of the foreign and defence ministries, the security councils and parliaments.
The CSTO regularly meets to draft coordinated positions on political and military-strategic issues and urgent matters on the regional and international agendas.
It continues upgrading its collective rapid deployment and rapid reaction forces and collective aviation and peacekeeping units. There are regular exercises to maintain combat readiness, improve the control system and upgrade the qualifications of military personnel.
The efficiency of these measures was evidenced by the CSTO’s peacekeeping operation in Kazakhstan in January, which prevented the seizing of power by extremists and helped stabilise the internal political situation in the republic. Mr Tokayev expressed his gratitude for the help and support. Using this opportunity, I would like to congratulate him again on his convincing victory in the elections and wish him success in implementing his ambitious plans to transform the political, social and economic life of the country.
It is satisfying to note that we, the CSTO Secretariat, have analysed the valuable practical experience gained during the peacekeeping mission in Kazakhstan. Russia will certainly support the important proposal submitted for our consideration on arming the CSTO peacekeeping forces with modern weapons, military and special equipment, as well as special means.
Russia definitely supports the decision we are to make today to improve the CSTO communications system, to create a joint radiological, chemical, and biological defence and medical support force, and a unified technical system for railway security in the CSTO.
I would also like to mention that military-technical cooperation between the member states of our organisation is expanding. The CSTO Interstate Commission for Military-Economic Cooperation, established at Russia’s initiative, is putting a lot of effort into this. Special services and law enforcement agencies are carrying out joint operations to combat terrorism and extremism, transnational crime, illegal migration, drug trafficking, and to ensure disaster relief in cases of natural and man-made emergencies.
And of course, all of us rally together to preserve the memory of the common history of our states, of the fact that our peoples won in the Great Patriotic War together. We are constantly working on this cooperatively, and I am sure we are paying the necessary attention to these issues.
We are certainly aware of not only our achievements, but also our common problems. Our colleagues have spoken about this today, and we will talk about it in more detail later today –without the cameras, I think. In any case, it is obvious that cooperation in the CSTO format yields tangible, practical results and helps us ensure the protection of our countries' national interests, sovereignty and independence.
The issues related to reaching a comprehensive settlement between Armenia and Azerbaijan certainly require further attention – I agree with my colleagues who have already spoken about this. Of course, this urgent issue calls for our attention.
In this context, we positively assess the summit of the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia that took place in Sochi in late October in the presence of yours truly, the President of Russia. The talks held there created a good foundation for future compromises on principal issues. Importantly, the joint statement confirmed the commitment to the top-level trilateral agreements that were achieved before – in 2020 and 2021. It also reaffirmed the key role of our joint format of interaction in ensuring peace and stability in the South Caucasus.
It is only possible to achieve sustainable normalisation in relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan by consistently fulfilling these agreements on delimiting the border, unblocking the transport connections and resolving the humanitarian problems. We hope this will eventually allow Yerevan and Baku to sign a peace treaty. We have already exchanged these considerations briefly with the Prime Minister of Armenia and will certainly talk about this in more detail at our bilateral meeting today.
I share the concerns of my colleagues who spoke about the situation in Afghanistan – it certainly remains complicated. The threat of militants from different international terrorist organisations penetrating the CSTO member states’ territories remains high. The spread of extremist ideology among the people of the Central Asian countries promotes the risk of increased activity of the radical underground in the region. In effect, this concerns all our countries.
We consider further close coordination within the CSTO framework on all key aspects of Afghanistan’s problems to be extremely important. Our competent services must continue working tightly on identifying the threats of terrorism, extremism and drug crimes quickly. Naturally, it is necessary to neutralize these threats through joint special operations and the rapid response measures that have proven their efficiency.
We will facilitate stabilisation in Afghanistan through other multilateral mechanisms as well. I would like to tell you that last week the Russian capital hosted a meeting of the Moscow format consultations: Russia-China-Pakistan-Iran-India and five Central Asian countries. The priority task at this point is to ensure the formation of a truly inclusive Afghan government that would involve all ethnic groups at the necessary levels.
I will also provide you with separate information on the developments in Ukraine.
In conclusion, I would like to sincerely thank Mr Stanislav Zas, who is leaving the post of CSTO Secretary-General and, of course, to wish success to the representative from Kazakhstan, Imangali Tasmagambetov, who is assuming this post.
Of course, I would like to express gratitude to the Prime Minister of Armenia and all our Armenian friends for the work done during their CSTO chairmanship and wish success to our Belarusian colleagues who are assuming this function.
For our part, we will do all we can to help and, in general, will continue facilitating in every way the expansion of allied ties between the CSTO countries.
Thank you for your attention.