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CSTO discuss fight against ISIL in Moscow

The fight against the Islamic State and creation of a broad coalition to combat international terrorism were the main topics the summit of the CSTO in Moscow, in which Alexander Lukashenko took part on December 21, 2015. The meeting raised topics of the challenges of our time and, consequently, new approaches to collective security.  The Eurasian Economic Union heads of state then met at the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council.

Alexei Martinyonok, CTV:
This is the 29th meeting of the CSTO at the presidential level. For the 17th time the summit has been hosted by Moscow. All the leaders of the largest military-political bloc of the continent around noon gathered in the Kremlin.

The first handshakes against the flashes of international correspondents' cameras and the leaders go to a special room intended for official ceremonies and meetings.

The Collective Security Council is the supreme organ of the CSTO, an organization that has never participated in combat operations but always aimed at protecting against external aggression.

There are many reasons to adjust actions. The chief among them is the war in the Middle East, from where millions of refugees eventually poured into Europe. As a consequence the world saw the infamous attacks. The presidents dedicated to anti-terror activities a joint statement which marked a real threat not only to states, but also to basic human values.

Russia is the CSTO's main force in the Middle East. But the leaders did not discuss the formation a single coalition against terrorism for now. CSTO presidents are in favor of the formation of such a coalition on the basis of the UN Charter and international law. The Collective Security Treaty Organization has also confirmed the need for blocking the channels of financing ISIL militants.

Separately, the leaders talked about the incident with the Russian aircraft shot down by the Turkish Air Force. Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan noted that this step of Ankara is not aimed at consolidating efforts to combat terrorism. CSTO chairman, Armenia summed up the conversation on behalf of all the participants.

Serzh Sargsyan, President of the Republic of Armenia:
We had a very productive and straight talk in private. We reaffirmed our willingness to consistently strengthen the power potential of the CSTO, to increase the counter-terrorism component, increase readiness of the Collective Rapid Reaction Force in order to effectively counter new threats and challenges.
We also talked about the implementation of agreements reached at the last meeting in Dushanbe. And then we addressed the action plan to implement the decisions of the September session and the priorities proposed by the Republic of Armenia for the period of presidency of the organization.  

After a brief working lunch the five presidents returned to the negotiations. The Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), officially formed on January 1, 2015, summed up the first year of its work.

Belarus' chairmanship in the organization took place in difficult conditions.

Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus President:
Today we had a busy day. And we thought the first meeting would be easy, but it was not. However, it was productive. We discussed all the issues of both tactical and strategic relationships.

The conflict in Ukraine, mutual devastating sanctions of Russia and the West continue to put downside pressure oil prices... The mutual trade of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia is declining.

But the EEU continues development. It is forming single oil and energy markets. From January 1, 2016, the EEU members will begin to trade medicines and medical equipment under the general rules. Much attention is paid to the expansion of international relations. The Presidents said they are in favor of close contacts with China. And they are ready to tie the idea of ​​the New Silk Road with the capabilities of the EEU.

Summits in Moscow in late December have already become traditional. Here, the Presidents sum up the integration of the former Soviet Union almost every year. The number and composition of the leaders is always changing but the underlying idea remains the same: to confront any difficulties together. 

CSTO discuss fight against ISIL in Moscow