President Vladimir Putin: Dear colleagues,
Once again, now that we are meeting in enlarged format, I would like to welcome all the participants in today’s meeting and I would also like to thank, once again, Nursultan Abishevich Nazarbayev for the work he has done as President of the CSTO over the last year.
Over this last year we have taken a number of important decisions that have without question strengthened our organisation, as was confirmed by the very substantial discussion we just had in our meeting in narrow format on military, military-technical and political cooperation within the framework of our organisation.
I would like to give the floor to the President of the CSTO, Nursultan Abishevich Nazarbayev, who would like to say some words. Please, Nursultan Abishevich.
Resident of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev: Distinguished heads of state, distinguished participants in this meeting,
I would once again like to thank President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin for his hospitality and the excellent organisation of our work that has taken place in a spirit of open exchange of views on the most important military and political issues in our relations.
Exactly a year has passed since the last summit in Astana. Kazakhstan presided the organisation over this time. Our countries, together with the CSTO Secretariat, have done a lot to implement the decisions adopted.
As you remember, the summit in Astana confirmed the priority areas for the organisation’s work in 2004–2005. These priorities included comprehensive development of political cooperation, development and improvement of military cooperation, measures to counter today’s threats and challenges and work on organising information response measures.
The CSTO took concrete and practical steps in its work in all these areas. The organisation’s cooperation with the principle European and international security organisations has developed considerably. Consultations took place under Kazakh chairmanship in New York on May 10 this year between the heads of the CSTO member states’ diplomatic missions to the UN on coordinating efforts on a whole range of issues concerning the situation in Afghanistan.
Military cooperation has been one of the organisation’s priorities over the last year. This can be seen not only by the relevant documents on the CSTO’s military component that have been adopted but also by the practical measures that have been taken. It must be said that this area got a considerable boost in Astana. A promising plan for coalition-based military development was approved and we examined the issues of developing rapid deployment forces in the Central Asian region. The “Rubezh-2004” anti-terrorist training exercises for the CSTO rapid deployment collective forces that took place in August 2004 were an important event.
The exercises’ objective was to work through issues of political and military cooperation between the CSTO member states in the event of illegal armed formations attacking one of our members. This was also the first time that the aviation component deployed at the Kant Air Force Base, was brought into the operation. Through these kinds of exercises, the member states are taking measures to ensure reliable security guarantees through the creation of a deterrent potential in the areas where the threat is greatest.
The organisation has been placing increasing emphasis on countering modern challenges and threats in its work. We have placed particular importance on drawing up adequate collective measures to combat political and religious extremism and also international terrorism – its most extreme manifestation. Work is progressing on reinforcing the member states’ counter-terrorist potential. This work includes developing the required legal base for effectively fighting terrorism, taking practical measures to coordinate the activities of the member countries’ law enforcement and special services and a number of other steps.
We are carrying out our programme of measures to combat the drugs threat from outside. As part of its work in this area, every year the CSTO carries out a large-scale international anti-drugs operation that has been given the name “Channel”. Thanks to the coordinated work of our six countries’ special services and law enforcement agencies, we have seized and destroyed more than five tons of drugs and psychotropic substances and have instigated more than 3,000 criminal charges for drugs smuggling.
Furthermore, these operations have enabled us to reveal new drugs supply channels and to seize several hundred firearms and explosive devices.
At the same time, the situation today demands from us even greater unity, solidarity and coordination of our efforts to strengthen stability and security in the CSTO region.
I am sure that our continued efforts to turn our agreements into concrete action, and the documents prepared for discussion and adoption today, will increase the CSTO’s real contribution to strengthening regional and international security. This then, dear colleagues, is my report on our work together with our secretariat over the last year.
In accordance with the provisions on the CSTO Council for Collective Security, the President of the Council is the head of state of the country on whose territory the Council session is taking place until the next session, unless the Council decides otherwise. In keeping with the charter’s demands, I therefore propose that I hand over my functions as President of the Council for Collective Security to President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.
I congratulate you, Vladimir Vladimirovich, and I wish you success in our common work.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you. Let us now continue our work and begin with the approval of the regulations and the agenda.