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Belarus President hopes for new impetus to CSTO development

An open and principled conversation between the closest states in this world - this is how Alexander Lukashenko described the CSTO summit held in Minsk on November 30.

The leaders of six states: Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan met in the Belarus capital. 

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
I am convinced that the current session will give a new impetus to the development of the CSTO, will demonstrate a positive dynamics in resolving the issues of ensuring general security.

One of the top-level topics is the terrorist threat. In 2017 alone, there were about 20 major terrorist acts in the world. The alarming news of the hundreds of victims came from different countries.

Alexander Lukashenko:
I am pleased to note the commonality of our views on the current threats faced by the CSTO member states and the effectiveness of the chosen strategy to minimize them. Our joint efforts have been and continue to be a systematic work aimed at increasing the international authority of the CSTO, expanding the circle of its supporters. The most important forms of foreign policy coordination are developing.

In the format of the organization, it was possible to achieve conceptual consolidation of uniform approaches to ensuring information security, to bring the basic elements of a crisis response system in line with advanced technical requirements. Specific steps have been taken to create conditions for the use of peacekeeping capabilities. As a whole, a lot has been done to mark the anniversary year for the organization in 2017.

I am confident that joint further actions to strengthen the CSTO will remain stable, progressive and dynamic. It is necessary that this work is in the public's view of both our and foreign countries. Dear friends, it really was an open, principled conversation between the closest states in this world. We don't have any other nations that are closer to us.

Vladimir Makei, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus:
The priorities, marked the Belarusian presidency in the CSTO, they are achieved. We advocated a broader representation of the interests of the CSTO in the international arena. And in this context, a number of meetings, contacts and joint ventures were held.

We also spoke at the same time about the need to make every effort to resolve conflicts in the zone of responsibility of the CSTO. This refers to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and conflicts in some other regions of our area of ​​responsibility. Unfortunately, we've not been able to solve these problems until the end. But I also think that a certain contribution was made during the period of Belarusian chairmanship.

Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kazakhstan:
We have developed appropriate priorities for activities in five areas. First: the expansion of the instruments of interaction of the CSTO member states in the military sphere. Second: the organization of practical and military-technical cooperation of the CSTO member states. Third: the participation of the CSTO in the formation of an international global system for countering terrorism. Fourth: joint reaction of CSTO member states to threats of cyber security. Fifth: increasing the effectiveness of measures to counter illicit drug trafficking.

Yuri Khachaturov, Secretary General of the CSTO:
The session of the Collective Security Council paid due attention to strengthening military cooperation as an important component of collective security and ensuring the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the member states of the organization. In this regard, it should be noted that the plan for joint operational and combat training of our collective CSTO forces in 2017 was completely fulfilled.

In addition, in Tajikistan we conducted an unscheduled large-scale exercise with collective CSTO forces. In total, 13,000 people, up to 2,000 units of equipment, 140 aircraft took part in all the exercises held in Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan during the year.

In order to further improve the collective forces of the response system to crisis situations, the heads of state adopted a number of decisions that we will implement in 2018.

Among the documents adopted was a joint statement on the situation in Syria, an agreement on cooperation in the field of information security, a decision on improving measures to counter illegal migration.

Belarus President hopes for new impetus to CSTO development