CSTO summit in Tajikistan coincides with elimination of local insurgency


CSTO summit in Tajikistan coincides with elimination of local insurgency

Last week the capital of Tajikistan hosted a summit of the Collective Security Treaty Organization - CSTO. Strangely enough but the summit coincided with the elimination of a group of local rebels. Evgeny Gorin has details. 

The CSTO summit in Dushanbe was unique from the very beginning. During the 13 years of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the presidents of the member states met outside of Russia for the first time.

Half an hour after landing at the Dushanbe airport Alexander Lukashenko was shaking hands with the leader of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon. On the eve of the main talks, the presidents talked about the bilateral trade turnover. It is small now, about 30 million dollars. Belarus sold goods worth 25 million and enjoys a considerable surplus. However, the two sides are not satisfied with these figures - they do much more. Emomali Rakhmon has thanked Alexander Lukashenko for humanitarian aid to flood-affected region of Gorno-Badakhshan.

Olga Gavruk, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Belarus to the Republic of Tajikistan:
On September 7 the head of state decided that Tajikistan will be provided with humanitarian assistance in the form of supply of Belarusian MAZ trucks. I hope that when our Tajik partners see today's MAZ vehciles, our cooperation in this area will increase dramatically.

The next day, contrary to tradition, before the six presidents appeared at the same table at the Palace of Nations, two additional meetings were held early in the morning.

The Dushanbe Government House hosted a joint meeting of the ministers of foreign affairs and defense, as well as the Committee of Secretaries of Security Councils of the CSTO member states. Firstly, it was necessary to agree on the agenda of the summit. A lot of issues had accumulated. One is more important than another. Secondly, the Collective Security Treaty Organization, as a military-political bloc, combines military force and the language of diplomacy. The meeting of the ministers of defense and foreign ministers eloquently illustrated it.

The CSTO summit was held against the backdrop of an anti-terrorist operation, which began in Tajikistan on September 4. That day the rebel group of Major-General Abduhalim Nazarzoda carried an armed attack against a police station in the town of Vahdat, 20 km from Dushanbe. Because of this SMS messages were disabled in Tajikistan. However, the streets of Dushanbe were calm and life went on as usual.

Yevgeny Gorin, CTV:
Dushanbe and the Afghan border, some parts of which are controlled by Taliban militants, are only 200 km apart. This is the same distance as from Minsk to Mogilev. But the worst thing is not the Taliban but the ISIL, who want to use Afghanistan as a transit territory for a breakthrough in the whole of Central Asia and beyond.

The problem of growing terrorist threats and new military conflicts at the borders of the CSTO was one of the key topics on the entire agenda of the summit. The organization is becoming more mobile in terms of the military component. 

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
This organization is becoming the most popular organization in the post-Soviet space. The allied countries are all alarmed by external risks and threats. They are concerned by the growing extremism and the activities of international terrorist groups. Today we are faced with an escalation of tension in the zones of smoldering conflicts (about which the President of Armenia has just said), open hostilities and the emergence of new hotbeds of instability, including near our borders. As a consequence we see people killed, states destroyed, peoples impoverished and refugees and illegal migrants flowing. This situation requires the strengthening of military power and crisis response mechanisms of the CSTO.   

One of the internal threats to the CSTO may be more than 5,000 citizens of Russia and Central Asian countries fighting on the side of the Islamic State. In the event of their return one needs to be prepared for all kids of risks.

Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation:
We support the Syrian government (I would like to stress it), in the confrontation against the terrorist aggression. We provide and will continue to provide them with the necessary military and technical assistance. And we urge other countries to join us.

A decision was made on the formation of the collective air forces, the creation of the Center for Crisis Response of the Collective Security Treaty Organization. The military-political bloc will continue to focus on combating terrorism, drug trafficking and organized crime. Among the priorities are also anticipation of external and internal threats, as well as international cooperation.

The following year, Armenia assumes the chairmanship of the Collective Security Treaty Organization. Incidentally, on the last day of the summit, media reported that intelligence agencies of Tajikistan eliminated rebellious general Abduhalim Nazarzoda and some of his supporters.