President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Colleagues,
It is a pleasure to welcome you to this plenary meeting of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation. I propose that we declare the meeting open, and I wish everyone successful and productive work.
Since our last summit in June 2009, we have taken some big steps to strengthen security in our countries and the region in general. As the country chairing the Collective Security Council over this period Russia has put the emphasis on establishing a crisis response mechanism within the CSTO. We have made the preparations for this mechanism. The events in Kyrgyzstan made it eminently clear that we need to make our organisation more effective in its responses to the challenges that can arise today. It was with this aim in mind that the meeting in Yerevan approved proposals to make some amendments to our charter documents.
The creation of the CRRF [Collective Rapid Reaction Force] of 20,000 people was one of the key events over this period. The joint exercises – Interaction 2009 in Kazakhstan, and Interaction 2010 in Russia – showed that this force has good potential and is a real regional force capable of neutralising potential threats.
The creation of the CSTO peacekeeping force of 3,500 people is now in the process of completion and preparations are underway to carry out peacekeeping operations, including taking into account the cooperation declarations that we have signed. The Channel anti-drugs operation (which we discussed in our narrow format meeting today) was a success, as was the Illegal Immigrant operation aimed at countering illegal immigration, and the Proxy operation, aimed at preventing criminal use of cyberspace, which is a very relevant matter, as recent events have shown. Our military-technical cooperation has reached a new level, and a whole package of documents in this area has been prepared for this summit.
We held what I think was a very productive and dynamic meeting in narrow format and had a very open discussion of the agreements ready for signing. Each country set out its own position on these matters.
Belarus is taking over the chairmanship of the Collective Security Council, and I wish our Belarusian partners success in strengthening the organisation. Mr Lukashenko already chaired the narrow format meeting.
Of course we hope that all the initiatives proposed, including the new proposal from Belarus today, will be added to and developed.