President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you to Moscow, to another CSTO Collective Security Council meeting.
Our summit is taking place in complicated times. The situation in the world is changing dynamically. Old issues are escalated, new ones appear and unfortunately, the global security system is being deformed.
All this requires concerted collective measures from the CSTO states to ensure the security of our countries and the region as a whole, to counteract terrorism, drag trafficking, trans-boundary organised crime and to prevent natural disasters and industrial accidents.
The CSTO has the capability to resolve all these issues. In the many years of its existence, the organisation has proven itself a respected and efficient regional structure. It has amassed extensive experience in equal partnerships based on openness, mutual respect and trust.
During its Presidency in the CSTO, Russia paid special attention to strengthening the organisation’s external borders and perfecting the collective deployment forces and means.
Efforts of the member-states were aimed at improving operative and combat training for CSTO members’ armies and special units and at practicing interaction in peacekeeping operations.
In May, the military and political leaders of the organisation’s member-states visited the National Defence Centre in Moscow to see the latest Russian armed forces’ management system. In July, Rubezh-2014 command and headquarters exercises of the Collective Rapid Response Forces were held in Russia. In August, Interaction-2014 Collective Rapid Response Force exercises were held in Kazakhstan. Kyrgyzstan hosted Nerushimoye Bratstvo-2014 CSTO Peacekeeping Forces exercises.
We have started the creation of joint emergency response mechanisms. With Russia’s active support a network of CSTO humanitarian centres is being set up. The first one is to open next year in Armenia; another one will then become operable in Kyrgyzstan.
Coordination between CSTO member-states in major international organisations has improved. On our joint initiative, the UN and the OSCE have passed a number of documents dealing with the situation in Syria, the creation of a nuclear-free zone in Central Asia and countering attempts to falsify history.
I would like to specially mention the adoption by a General Assembly majority vote of the Resolution to combat the glorification of Nazi ideology. This was our joint initiative; we presented this document with our Belarusian colleagues as our joint position. The only countries voting against it were the United States, Canada and Ukraine. This resolution, in our view, is especially timely ahead of the 70th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War – an event we will be celebrating together in May 2015.
It is important to apply this practice of joint action in other areas of our work as well. I am primarily referring here to combatting extremism and terrorism.
The CSTO should continue focusing its attention on enhancing its close cooperation with Afghanistan, especially in view of the greater risk to regional security posed by the withdrawal of International Forces.
We are all interested in a flourishing, happy and neutral Afghanistan. We proceed from the notion that the Afghan leadership will work to stabilise the situation in the country.
At the same time, the current situation causes concern. Militant groups of the Islamic State are attempting to include certain Afghan provinces in the so-called Islamic Caliphate. Terrorist and extremist groups are already spreading their activity to Central Asia.
In these circumstances, the CSTO states should be ready to take adequate preventive measures. In particular, we need to continue focusing on the Tajik-Afghan border and on providing Tajikistan with financial and material aid to modernise its armed forces.
We must continue our cooperation with the Afghan authorities in combatting drug trafficking. In the past few years over 1,000 representatives of Afghan law enforcement agencies were trained in Russia. The Operation Kanal is held annually to prevent drug trafficking, and this year alone it resulted in the confiscation of over 17 tonnes of drugs.
Today Tajikistan takes over CSTO Presidency from Russia. I would like to wish our Tajikistani friends success in this work. I would like to stress that you can count on our help and support. We, in turn, count on continuity in the Organisations’ activities, on close cooperation in meeting the targets set in the joint Statement of the Heads of Collective Security Treaty Organisation Member-States, to be signed following today’s meeting.
I am convinced that given concerted action based on a common consolidated stand we can continue contributing to stronger regional security and a stable development for the peace and prosperity of our nations.