Meeting with secretaries of security councils of CSTO member states

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Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko has named six major tasks for the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in modern conditions. The head of state made the statement as he met with the secretaries of the security councils of the CSTO member states on 15 June.

According to the President, major tasks include the coordination of the foreign policy activities of the CSTO member states, cooperation of the Organization with the leading universal and regional international agencies, comprehensive strengthening of the military, technical, anti-crisis, and peace-making potentials of the CSTO.

These also include the prevention of international terrorism and illegal drug trade, stabilizing migration processes, improvement of the legal foundations and mechanisms of interaction in the Organization.

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, the session of the committee is held in complicated time. The international situation can be characterized by growing instability, the transformation of relations between the world centers of force, and toughening mutual competition. Conditions for the transfer of struggle to outer space and cyberspace are being created.

“NATO is building up military infrastructure near the borders of our countries, the missile defense system is being installed, projects to design precision weapons are implemented. Conflicts, economic and social shocks continue to remain the sources of the migration crisis,” the President said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that the activities of terrorists in Europe and Central Asia pose an outstanding threat, the conflicts in southeastern Ukraine and Nagorno-Karabakh are disturbing. In spite of emerging positive trends, the situation around Transnistria is not settled.

“Obviously, in these conditions our organization becomes even more important. Being a multi-purpose organization, the CSTO has a potential for playing a big role in the future reviewed architecture of security on the Eurasian continent,” the Belarusian head of state assured.

He deems it necessary to make timely strategic decisions on the basis of unity and allied solidarity, prepare concerted collective responses to global and regional challenges.

“I want us to resolve the problems that we have by ourselves, at the negotiating table in Minsk, Moscow, Yerevan and in other cities of the CSTO countries. Without the influence from any other states, groups and think tanks. We can solve the problems in Nagorno-Karabakh, Transnistria, and Ukraine. These are our problems. We must tackle them without foreign politburos and interventions,” the head of state said.

The President noted that if the CSTO managed to settle finally the disturbing issues and removed the points of instability in the CSTO region, the credibility of the organization would grow significantly.

“There is no doubt that only through joint efforts we can protect our national interests,” the head of state noted.

Commenting on the forthcoming Belarusian-Russian strategic army exercise, the head of state said that it will not pose a threat to someone’s territories. “We are not going to conquer anyone. But we are building our policy taking into consideration the lessons of the past. We do not threaten anyone, we are not going to launch an offensive or wage a war on anyone. But we train our army to make sure that it is ready to ward off any attack and cause unacceptable damage to a potential enemy. This is our concept,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

“The curious thing is that they reproach us for something that is by far not as serious as what they themselves engage in. We do not form or deploy any new military units of foreign countries. But, we witness the active deployment of military units and troops, including foreign ones, near our borders,” the head of state stressed. “Apart from the troops, they also deploy cutting-edge air drones. When I saw the photos of those drones… They are huge, like true planes. These are combat drones. Against whom? And they say to us: calm down, do not hold any exercises. No, we will because we cannot ignore the security of our states: neither Russia, Belarus, or the CSTO,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The President also commented on the statements suggesting that the conflict in eastern Ukraine can be resolved through means that would lie outside of the framework of the Minsk Accords. The head of state said that the CSTO security secretaries have gathered in the historical hall that hosted the Normandy Four talks who worked out the landmark Minsk Accords. Unfortunately, the Minsk agreements are not implemented in full. “In the recent week they have come under criticism by the states who should have sat down at the negotiating table and should have joined this format,” the Belarusian leader said.

“There have been certain statements that they can do without the Minsk format, find some other ways to resolve the Ukrainian conflict,” the President said. “Of course, they can. But it is always more difficult to start from the beginning than to continue a good thing.”