CSTO summit in Bishkek

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Speaking at the summit of the Collective Security Treaty Organization in Bishkek, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko focused on peace initiatives and global security threats.

The Belarusian head of state voiced his concern about political and economic clashes between global superpowers.

Aleksandr Lukashenko mentioned the termination of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. In this regard, Belarus suggests adopting a declaration of responsible countries against placing medium-range and shorter-range missiles in Europe.

Belarus also put forward an initiative to resume an inclusive dialogue on international security similar to the Helsinki process and to use this dialogue to overcome existing disagreements between countries in the common space in the Euro-Atlantic region and Eurasia.

Belarus’ president also mentioned the NATO military buildup along the western borders of the CSTO and in close vicinity to Belarus’ border. Although such a number of troops does not represent a direct military threat, the militarization of the border necessitates working out an adequate diplomatic, information and military response.

All in all, the president urged to avoid a new arms race.

He also pointed to the increasing protest movement and civil unrest in a number of countries, including prosperous ones. Regional armed conflicts remain one of the main sources of political, military and terrorist threats, illegal migration and smuggling of arms.

In this context, the president mentioned the situation in the east of Ukraine where a military conflict has been going on for five years already. Belarus welcomed some visible progress in implementing the Minsk agreements and the start of a constructive dialogue as part of the Trilateral Contact Group.

Aleksandr Lukashenko also called for bolstering the international standing of the CSTO, expanding its cooperation with other organizations. This can be achieved, among other things, by implementing Belarus-proposed decision on the formalization of the Partner and Observer statuses in the organization.

He emphasized that information security should be among the priorities for the CSTO. In this regard, Belarus suggests establishing a good-neighborliness belt aimed at easing tensions in the information field and laying down common rules of responsible behavior in the digital space.