Taking part in the meeting were Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Acting President of Kyrgyzstan Talant Mamytov, President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon and Secretary General of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation Stanislav Zas.
Key decisions of the meeting have been recorded in the Collective Security Declaration and the Statement of the CSTO Collective Security Council on creating a just and sustainable world order. In addition, the participants adopted an agreement on joint logistic and medical support for the CSTO troops (Collective Forces) and a protocol on amendments to the agreement on the CSTO peacekeeping mission of October 6, 2007.
A number of decisions made at the meeting concern the development of military cooperation, the CSTO anti-drug strategy, quality control of combat hardware jointly designed and produced by the CSTO, improving training of personnel for the government bodies of the CSTO member states, personnel training for the peacekeeping forces, and the structure and disposition of the CSTO peacekeeping contingents.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon.
I am very glad to see you all and to welcome you.
We will be discussing current international issues and subjects of concern to our regions. The coordinated agenda has been provided, and all of you have it on the table in front of you. If there are no objections, I suggest that we start working.
I hereby declare the meeting of the CSTO Collective Security Council open.
In keeping with the established procedure, allow me to be the first speaker at this meeting as the head of state holding the current CSTO chairmanship, after which I will give the floor to every one of you, colleagues. Everyone will have an opportunity to speak. The procedure has been coordinated in advance, so let us begin.
During its chairmanship of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, Russia focused its efforts on the further development of strategic partnership with the CSTO member states and on continuing an open and trust-based dialogue on the entire range of security issues.
As a result of the joint work carried out by our countries this year, a solid package of agreements has been prepared for approval at today’s meeting of the Collective Security Council, including the final Declaration and the Statement on building a just and sustainable world order.
It is clear that in the difficult situation caused by the spread of coronavirus, we had to address urgent issues in healthcare, as well as in the social and economic spheres as a matter of priority.
I would like to note that the CSTO member states have established very close cooperation in the coronavirus response effort; we have provided assistance and support to each other, and continue to do so. In particular, Russia has supplied its CSTO allies with medical devices, equipment, test systems, and personal protective equipment. Groups of Russian specialists, doctors and epidemiologists, have visited the countries that are parties to the Treaty.
Colleagues, at present, consideration is underway of the possibility of supplying the Russian Sputnik V vaccine to CSTO states or launching joint production in your countries. The same applies to our other two vaccines, including EpiVacCorona, which has also been registered.
It is important that, despite the special circumstances, the work in the CSTO priority areas was carried out as planned. A number of significant events took place during the year, including meetings of the Council of Foreign Ministers and the Committee of Secretaries of Security Councils.
In September, for the first time, Moscow hosted a joint meeting of the defence ministers of the CSTO, the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. We hope that expanded meetings like this will become regular, because they help us to improve the coordination of our military policy approaches with our key partners. By the way, we think it a good idea to grant observer and partner status to countries wishing to maintain regular contacts with the CSTO.
This year, we continued holding military exercises to expand the Organisation’s defence capabilities, and improve combat training, cohesion and mobility among the CSTO Collective Forces. In August, Russia hosted Echelon 2020 special training with the assets of acquisition, technology and logistics forces, and the Nerushimoye Bratstvo 2020 (Indestructible Brotherhood) combat-and-staff exercises that took place in Belarus in October.
The situation within the CSTO sphere of responsibility has been quite challenging and generally quite turbulent. I am referring to the military conflict that broke out around Nagorno-Karabakh and involved a CSTO member state, as well as the post-election developments in Belarus when the country came under unprecedented external pressure. I am also referring to the internal political situation in Kyrgyzstan.
We all know too well that Russia had to undertake proactive mediation efforts in order to stop the bloodshed in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone, achieve a full cessation of hostilities and launch the stabilisation process. In doing so, we were guided by the key agreements reached within the OSCE Minsk Group, including by Russia, the United States and France as its co-chairs.
The November 9 trilateral Statement by Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan is being consistently implemented. Russian peacekeepers have been deployed along the line of contact and the Lachin Corridor.
It is now time to work together to help people who suffered from the hostilities in this region, help resolve humanitarian issues, facilitate the return of refugees, restore infrastructure, and protect historical, religious and cultural monuments.
Russia is already working on all these matters together with Yerevan and Baku. We are looking forward to our partners from the CSTO and the CIS joining these humanitarian efforts. We are also discussing cooperation opportunities with other international organisations.
I am pleased to note that, in the past year, CSTO member states continued to cooperate in the fight against terrorism and organised crime. The specialised Working Group under the Committee of Secretaries of the CSTO Security Council functioned successfully.
Law enforcement and intelligence agencies conducted regular operations. We also regularly exchange information regarding the threat of extremist militants’ returning from hot spots of tension. Two Nayomnik (Mercenary) special operations were organised to expose terrorist groups, neutralise their resources and prevent the recruiting of new supporters, including with the use of the internet and social media. We have drafted an upgraded CSTO Anti-Drug Strategy through to 2025.
In 2020, all CSTO activities took place against the background of the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War. Military units from CSTO member states took part in a Victory Day Parade on Red Square.
We are grateful to our allies in the Organisation for supporting initiatives on preserving historical truth and opposing efforts to justify any manifestations of Nazism that were advanced by Russia at international venues. All CSTO members co-authored the relevant Russian draft resolution of the UN General Assembly.
I am convinced that we must continue to act in unison, while defending the memory of the Great Victory, the heroic feat of our peoples who saved the world from Nazism through tremendous and irreplaceable sacrifices. In this way, we are paying tribute to those who fought the enemy, and we are sending a clear message to the entire international community about the unity of our Organisation’s member states and their determination to jointly defend peace and security.
Colleagues, I have charted specific guidelines for joint activities of our Organisation’s member states, and I am counting on an engaging discussion on the matters I mentioned and on matters of mutual interest, as they say in such cases, in the CSTO region.
I would like to hear all our colleagues, all the leaders of the CSTO member states – let’s go by the name of the country in Russian alphabetical order. And now I give the floor to our first speaker, Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan.
Please, Mr Pashinyan.
Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan: Thank you, Mr Putin.
Mr Chairman, colleagues, Mr Secretary General of the CSTO,
I welcome you all to today’s meeting which sums up Russia’s chairmanship of the CSTO.
The priorities of the Russian chairmanship had to do with addressing matters that are critical for the development of the CSTO and improvement of our cooperation, and we are grateful for all the work done during this difficult period.
I would also like to thank Mr Stanislav Zas and the CSTO Secretariat for setting up today's online meeting and, in general, for the team’s work carried out in the context of the pandemic.
And of course, taking this opportunity, I would like to welcome the Acting President of the Kyrgyz Republic, Talant Mamytov, who is attending a CSTO meeting for the first time.
The last two months have become a period of confrontation for the Armenian people …
Sorry, we have technical problems at our end.
Vladimir Putin: Yes, we can hear that.
Nikol Pashinyan: Azerbaijan, supported by Turkey and by terrorist mercenaries from the Middle East, has unleashed a war on the Armenian people.
As you know, with Russian mediation, we succeeded in curbing the hostilities and agreeing on measures to de-escalate the situation. It has been over three weeks since hostilities ended. Russian peacekeepers are deployed in the conflict zone. However, today we still have a number of urgent tasks.
Firstly, we need to agree on the exchange of prisoners, hostages, other detainees, as well as the bodies of those killed, and get information on the missing persons. These are urgent questions. The Armenian side is ready to intensify efforts to speed up this process and increase its efficiency. At the same time, it is necessary to rule out any use of violence against prisoners of war and detainees and any infringements on their dignity.
Secondly, conditions need to be created for the return of the Artsakh people to their homes, and for the restoration of normal life in Nagorno-Karabakh. People need to be sure that they are safe and can continue to live on their land. Several tens of thousands of Artsakh people have already returned to their homes, and we are making every effort to help and support our compatriots.
Furthermore, measures need to be taken to protect the Armenian people’s cultural and religious landmarks located in the territories occupied by the Azerbaijani troops.
Finally, it is important to ensure the safe operation of local transport, to rule out any provocations and establish normal conditions for the functioning of all critical infrastructure that the Artsakh people need.
All the measures I have mentioned, including the unblocking of all economic and transport links in the region, are crucial and will pave the way towards a lasting peace in the region.
The Russian peacekeeping force deployed along the contact line in Nagorno-Karabakh and along the Lachin Corridor, which connects Artsakh and Armenia, is now the guarantor of continued peace and security in this region. In this regard, I would like to underscore the exceptional role played by Russian President Vladimir Putin. All through the 44 days of fighting, we were in constant contact and discussed the necessary measures to end the bloodshed and protect lives. We are still working very closely with Mr Putin today to solve such problems as the search for missing persons, the exchange of prisoners of war and detained persons and the bodies of those killed.
To conclude my remarks, I would like to congratulate Tajikistan on taking over the CSTO chairmanship and reaffirm Armenia’s commitment to intensive joint work to implement the priorities of the Tajik chairmanship.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much.
Indeed, Armenia and the Armenian people have just gone through a very difficult period, and the country’s leaders – the head of government, the Prime Minister of Armenia – had to make some difficult decisions, which were necessary for the people of Armenia. I must say that although these decisions were definitely painful, again, they were necessary, and required great personal courage from the Prime Minister; this much is obvious. Each of those present at this meeting certainly understands the degree of responsibility this kind of decision-making takes. So he took this responsibility upon himself, and it is our turn now to support the Prime Minister and his team in their effort to establish a peaceful life, achieve the implementation of all the decisions made and help people who found themselves in difficult life situations.
President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, go ahead please.
President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko: Friends,
Our Organisation is working in difficult conditions. The systems of international relations and arms control mechanisms are being distorted. Confrontational rhetoric is increasingly dominating communication. The world is about to unleash an uncontrolled arms race again. Military confrontation between the world centres of power, which presents the biggest threat, is being aggravated.
The build-up of the US and NATO military presence near the CSTO’s western borders is a source of serious concern. I am primarily referring to the deployment of an additional US troops contingent in Poland and US plans to create new military infrastructure. We are clearly seeing an increase in systemic military actions in that country and the Baltic states.
At the same time, these military activities threaten not only Belarus’ national interests. In this context, we must also review NATO’s statement on drafting a new strategic concept. I believe everyone understands against whom and what it will be aimed.
It is necessary to mention separately the hitherto unheard-of use of all kinds of sanctions. These international legal measures have become standard practice although they are supposed to be used in exceptional circumstances and only for resolving the vital issues of ensuring peace and security.
In turn, the pandemic has not only complicated international cooperation but also exacerbated social conflicts. Unprecedented large-scale riots have swept the world. It is already obvious that this is not just a spontaneous display of discontent, as the media are trying to present it to us.
The international order is sliding down towards what is called controlled chaos. This is obviously a purposeful, well-orchestrated effort of the global players that sometimes do not take account of anything, including the interests of their own people. There are many examples of this. Everyone knows about the unprecedented unrest in the United States and European countries, which were considered especially prosperous and all but model democracies until recently.
It is obvious that a universal balance between civil liberties and national security interests has never been found in Western society. Apparently, this is where the increasingly unceremonious imposition of double standards on the international collective consciousness stems from. On the one hand, the Western authorities present their extremely harsh reaction to the protests and the generally unpopular state policy as an objective necessity; on the other hand, any moves by other countries to ensure stable growth and maintain law and order and the rule of law are slammed as dictatorship and tyranny, although these measures are smaller than their own by an order of magnitude.
Along with these unequal coordinate systems, various manipulations and the use of hybrid warfare for the so-called colour revolutions have become commonplace. Moreover, there are no “colour revolutions” here, those are just ordinary riots.
That is why Belarus in 2020 is experiencing blatant interference in its internal affairs, including through provoking civil discontent. We are being openly told to change the government, the laws and social representation, otherwise they threaten to strangle us with sanctions, destroy our economy and infrastructure, and transform the moral and ethical foundations of our society. Now there is no doubt, it is the civil peace and integrity of our Belarus that were and still are at stake. Moreover, we are being advised to change the government, the laws and social representation in an openly cynical way, as these prompts are no longer even hidden behind any diplomatic concepts.
The frenzied behaviour of Poland and the Baltic countries towards Belarus is actually worth special notice. More than that, we can clearly see that their actions aim to pursue their own interests and boost their importance in the European Union. And I want ordinary people in these neighbouring countries to hear about their politicians’ shameless and unworthy behaviour.
By now, many have realised that the world will never be the way it was a year or two years ago, much less the way we imagined it. However, we have to deal with the widespread conflict and the new diseases that hit us, and continue to live and grow, raise children, rejoice in goodness, be happy to have each other, and make every effort to preserve the fine and fragile line that separates humanity from a catastrophe.
Taking into account the dynamics of challenges and threats, we are required to not just maintain the current level of interaction, but to build it up. Today, the alliance is acquiring increasing significance. The CSTO must show its ability to work intensively and reliably in the political, military and informational dimensions, as well as to effectively counter terrorism, extremism and drug trafficking, to be proactive and to avoid social disasters. It is important to not only identify new challenges and threats in a timely manner, but also to launch mechanisms to repel them and to bring the member states’ collective response positions as close as possible. I think we can do it.
I would like to emphasise that, of course, it is good that we are having this “televised” meeting, but given the situation, we must definitely get together in person and, taking into account the lessons of the most recent developments, discuss our future actions in order to prevent this from happening in all other countries. No one should be complacent in this situation. Probably, all of us understand this. So, I propose setting the time for an expanded meeting not only between the CSTO members, but also, as the President of Russia said, not just partners, but the countries which can sense the looming danger for all of us.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much, Mr Lukashenko.
Indeed, the situation in Belarus could not but give us cause for concern. Of course, tensions and even conflicts may arise in any country during election battles or after the election. Just look at what happened in the United States in the run-up to the election, how the US political forces describe the election campaign, and what is happening now. The same thing can happen in any country, and it happened in Belarus.
However, this is not our concern. Our real concern is the external interference, including financial support, information support, political support, and so on. After all, the nations must be given an opportunity to deal with the issues that are important to them. We witnessed the developments in the Arab world during the Arab Spring. What did it lead to? I am not even talking about all sorts of other “colour revolutions,” but what did it lead to here? It is always explained by good intentions, but we know that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. This is exactly where good intentions, attempts at interference and interference in the internal affairs of other states, lead.
I very much hope that the Belarusian people will muster enough political maturity in order to calmly and without any abrupt movements build an internal political dialogue with all political forces, and resolve all internal issues on their own, without any pressure or outside interference. I have no doubt that it will work out, given the political experience of the President of Belarus.
President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev is our next speaker. Please go ahead.
President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev: Colleagues, Secretary General of the CSTO,
First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to the chairman of today's meeting, President Putin, for hosting this event. I would also like to praise the highly substantive and professional nature of Russia’s CSTO chairmanship, which has improved interaction across all areas of our activities and strengthened our Organisation’s capacity and authority.
Taking this opportunity, I congratulate President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon on the upcoming CSTO chairmanship and wish our Tajik colleagues productive work.
Our meeting is taking place amid complex regional and global processes. The situation in regional and global security is aggravated by the growing conflict potential in interstate relations.
Against this background, President Putin's mediation with the aim of ending hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh deserves the highest praise. The agreement was reached with Russia’s energetic participation. I believe it is the only correct decision in the current critical situation. This agreement will help establish lasting peace in the region. I think this is a truly historic agreement.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused widespread turmoil in global politics and the economy. The situation is further complicated by mounting mutual sanctions and restrictions and escalating trade wars.
The rise in new global challenges and threats related to extremism, terrorism, drug trafficking, cybersecurity and illegal migration causes concern. Given that, the role of our Organisation as an effective mechanism of interstate interaction in the name of strengthening peace and ensuring security and stability in the vast region has significantly increased.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to you, President Putin, for your assistance in overcoming the pandemic. A plant for the production of the Russian vaccine will be built in Kazakhstan soon as a follow-up to our agreement.
An electoral process has started in Kazakhstan. Elections for deputies of the lower house of parliament and local representative bodies are scheduled for January 10, 2021. The elections will be held within the constitutional terms, and all political forces have been given enough time to prepare.
This year, we have implemented a package of unprecedented democratic reforms designed to expand the multi-party system and political competition, and to improve civic engagement. In particular, the institution of parliamentary opposition has been enshrined at the legislative level and a 30 percent quota has been introduced in the party lists for women and youth.
We are determined to hold transparent and fair elections. We look forward to our partners’ support and having observers from your states, as well as from the parliamentary assemblies of the CIS and, of course, the CSTO.
The agenda of our meeting is fairly intensive. Today we will discuss a broad range of issues that are very important for deepening our cooperation and will also adopt a number of major documents aimed at enhancing the strength and capabilities of our collective security system. The Declaration of the Collective Security Council and the Statement [of the CSTO Collective Security Council] on creating a just and sustainable international order will become the meeting’s key documents. Their adoption will demonstrate beyond doubt our common commitment to the further strengthening of international dialogue and cooperation on resolving global and regional problems.
Participation in the CSTO activities is a priority in Kazakhstan’s foreign policy. It is gratifying that the CSTO has become a significant factor in international politics and is playing a positive role in ensuring security on a considerable part of Eurasia.
As before, we are ready to actively cooperate with our partners in the search for effective solutions to ensuring peace, security and prosperity of our people.
Thank you for your attention.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much for your address.
We are confident that Kazakhstan will successfully hold the parliamentary elections on January 10, 2021, an important event in its domestic political calendar.
I would like to say that, of course, all countries are facing difficulties and our countries are no exception. However, the situation with strategic stability that has been created by the first President [Nursultan Nazarbayev], and is now being effectively maintained by the current President, by you, is a great achievement. Kazakhstan has made an impressive achievement by consolidating its statehood and domestic political stability. All this creates the conditions for overcoming the difficulties that are now faced by the entire world. I am referring, in part, to the effective efforts to counter the coronavirus pandemic and the general steady advance of social policy and the economy.
We certainly wish you every success and I am sure that even before this domestic political event we will have an opportunity to discuss issues that are of interest not only for the CSTO but also for our bilateral ties.
Thank you very much.
I give the floor to Acting President of the Kyrgyz Republic Talant Mamytov. Go ahead, please.
Acting President of Kyrgyzstan Talant Mamytov: Colleagues,
I would like to use this occasion to extend my warm greetings to you all and to express my sincere gratitude to President of Russia Vladimir Putin for organising this videoconference CSTO meeting so well.
We are meeting at a difficult time. The coronavirus pandemic, which has become the greatest problem for humankind, has had an extremely adverse impact on the world as a whole, including the global economy and trade. This has led to negative social and humanitarian consequences, first of all for the developing countries, one of which is the Kyrgyz Republic, as we must admit frankly and openly.
However, despite these hardships, Kyrgyzstan is working hard to meet all the commitments it has assumed within the framework of the CSTO, supporting the initiative aimed at ensuring regional and international security and strengthening the CSTO potential as a whole.
I would like to use this occasion to speak about the socio-political situation that has developed in our country. I see it as an important factor in the context of the CSTO development, given that the main goal of our Organisation is to preserve and maintain stability in the CSTO space, including Central Asia states.
I will not go into detail regarding the recent developments, about which my colleagues are sufficiently aware, I believe. But I would like to say that the most important thing for us today is to keep up the course we have chosen to meet the people’s demands and to mend the mistakes made during the parliamentary election on September 4, 2020.
The socio-political situation has stabilised in Kyrgyzstan. The Kyrgyz Republic remains fully committed to all of its international commitments and is strictly complying with the bilateral and multilateral international agreements it has signed. The bodies of authority are functioning in a normal mode.
In addition, we will hold a presidential election on January 10, 2021. In this connection, colleagues, I would like to assure you that the Kyrgyz authorities will do their utmost to hold an honest and competitive election. I see this as a crucial step towards the further stabilisation in the country.
In light of this I would like to mention the position of principle the heads of CSTO states assumed during the October 5–6 events in Kyrgyzstan and to express our sincere gratitude for your understanding of the situation and the support you have given us in a difficult period.
Today we must openly admit that the world is changing. Contradictions in the global economy have aggravated the already complex social problems of the humankind. Globalisation and the advance of cutting-edge technologies have created huge environmental problems and inefficient use of the world’s natural resources. Poverty and unemployment are becoming the scourge of the developing economies. In this context, socio-political instability in some parts of the world is creating a palpable threat to the system of global security. There is no doubt whatsoever that the world needs new approaches and modes of operation. All these factors of global development show that it is more important than ever for the CSTO member states to act in a coordinated and collective manner.
Today the CSTO has real capabilities for ensuring regional and global security. In this context, I would like to point out Russia’s special role in the CSTO, or more precisely in stabilising the situation in the Caucasus as well as in other complex regions. Overall, I believe that Russia’s CSTO chairmanship and, most importantly, its practical actions have greatly strengthened the CSTO and mapped out the path for its further development.
The year 2020 was a special year for our countries. This year we celebrated together the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory in World War II. I would like to emphasise that victory in that war united our nations and showed us the path forward. Our nations, which sustained huge human and material losses in that horrible war, are now aware of the value of friendship, mutual assistance and unity. Proof of this is our countries’ interaction within the framework of the CSTO and other respected organisations. Our common history, a strong spirit of alliance and mutual support are the main components of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation
In conclusion, I would like to use this occasion to express our deep gratitude to President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and our other partners for the constant support they provide to the Kyrgyz Republic in its fight against the spread of the coronavirus infection. The results of our joint efforts show that we can only cope with this serious challenge if we stand together. This is how it has always been, and so it will be in the future as well.
I would like to wish health and every success to all participants in this CSTO meeting.
Thank you very much.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you.
Mr Mamytov, I am sure I will express our common opinion by saying that we have always watched with concern the domestic political developments in Kyrgyzstan, and I would like to express satisfaction with the fact that the situation is being stabilised.
We have also followed closely your position on Kyrgyzstan abiding by what you said are its commitments under international treaties. We are pleased to state that Kyrgyzstan is not changing its positions within the EAEU and the CSTO. This is extremely important, including for Kyrgyzstan’s own stability.
You know that Russia has been doing a great deal bilaterally to support Kyrgyzstan’s economy and social sphere. This concerns the fund worth hundreds of millions of dollars, the work involving the sanitary and epidemiological services, the phytosanitary control on the border, and so on. We hope and proceed from the assumption that we will continue this entire joint work together with you.
But, of course, positive results cannot be achieved unless there is internal stability. Therefore, we are very interested in seeing both the parliamentary and presidential elections held at the highest level and in conformity with all the requirements of the constitution and the election law. We will support you in every way on the path to further stabilisation and in your active work in all the above-mentioned areas.
We wish you success.
I give the floor to President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon. Please, the floor is yours.
President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon: Thank you, Mr Putin.
First of all, I would like to express gratitude to President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin for having organised our meeting.
I would also like to note Russia’s efforts to ensure the stable work of this Organisation in today’s difficult environment.
This year, the world has faced an unprecedented surge of challenges and threats. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a global recession and socioeconomic problems. It has made a considerable impact on the habitual course of life, forcing all countries in the world to drastically revise their earlier plans and initiatives.
The social, financial, and economic crisis that followed in the wake of the pandemic has had a radical impact on the expected growth of the global economy and has led to higher unemployment, endangering food security.
At the same time, there is an upward trend when it comes to the threats of terrorism, extremism, various forms of radicalism and transnational organised crime, including drug trafficking. Various terrorist and extremist forces have not abandoned their destructive plans and remain active around the world, including in direct proximity to the CSTO zone of responsibility. In this context, we are looking with concern at the negative developments in Afghanistan, in particular, its north-eastern region.
All these circumstances call for a commensurate response, including by adopting the necessary measures to strengthen the CSTO’s southern borders.
In light of the current tensions in the world and our region, it has become much more important to build up the CSTO capability to effectively resist security threats and challenges.
Following today’s meeting the CSTO chairmanship will go over to the Republic of Tajikistan. We will carry on the policy of strengthening our mutual efforts to ensure a safe and tranquil life for our nations. In this context, we have outlined a number of measures aimed at expanding the scope of goals and objectives to be addressed within the framework of the Organisation. Tajikistan hopes that its partners will support its efforts to implement them.
Given the current realities, I would like to emphasise the importance of the decisions adopted following our meeting today. They include critical issues and are designed to ensure collective security in the CSTO’s zone of responsibility. We are convinced that our concerted joint efforts to implement the entire range of our goals are a factor that will give a fresh impetus to and further invigorate the Organisation’s activities.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much. We wish success to your chairmanship.
I would like to mention the special role of Tajikistan in countering the threats coming from adjacent countries, that is, the proliferation of drugs and terrorists. Tajikistan is doing huge positive work in this sphere. We will continue to work together with you, including by lending the capabilities of the Russian military structure deployed in Tajikistan.
I would like to thank you for your opening remarks. As agreed, after that we will be working in a restricted format. We will now stop live streaming, so that each of you can speak in more detail on the issues you consider to be of greatest concern.