On 23 November, Minsk hosted the summit of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). Aleksandr Lukashenko, President of the Republic of Belarus; Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, President of Kazakhstan; Sadyr Japarov, President of the Kyrgyz Republic; Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation; Emomali Rahmon, President of the Republic of Tajikistan; and Imangali Tasmagambetov, CSTO Secretary General, took part in the meeting with restricted attendance.
During the summit, the participants summed up the results of the Belarusian presidency, adopted a joint declaration and signed 11 documents:
– On Measures to Develop the CSTO Crisis Response System;
– On the Regulations Concerning the CSTO Joint Press Centre;
– On the Chief of the CSTO Joint Staff;
– On the Establishment of the Together for Peace Medal;
– On Recommendations on the Mutual Settlements Procedure for Transferred Materiel (Provided Services) Between Contingents of the CSTO Troops (Collective Forces);
– On the Distribution of Quota Posts in the CSTO Secretariat;
– On the Structure of the CSTO Joint Staff;
– On the Awarding of CSTO Decorations;
– On the 2022 CSTO Budget Implementation Report;
– On the 2024 CSTO Budget;
– On the Presidency of the Organization, Time and Venue of the Next Session of the CSTO Collective Security Council.
Alexander Lukashenko, President of the Republic of Belarus, has reported on the implementation of Belarus’ priorities during the country’s presidency in the Organization.
“Internally, we have sought to enhance the cohesion of the CSTO Member States in order to strengthen the Organization itself, as well as to ensure security and stability in the area of responsibility. Externally, our goal was to strengthen the role and significance of the Organization in the system of international relations,” Mr Lukashenko said.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, President of Kazakhstan, emphasized that today’s meeting was held in very difficult specific conditions of “rapidly growing degradation of the international situation.”
“While building the tactics and strategy of the CSTO activity, we should certainly take into account the threats and challenges of modern realities. At the same time, in my opinion, there is no need to constantly talk about the growing security threats to the CSTO Member States, even if they exist. After all, threats have always existed. That is the nature of the international community. Frequent statements on this subject give rise to the illusion that we are afraid of someone. Such statements can also be, and seem to be, completely misinterpreted. The Organization's rhetoric should be tough but extremely correct, taking into account the dignity of the participating States and their combined military and political capacity and power,” the Kazakh leader said.
Sadyr Japarov, President of the Kyrgyz Republic, said that from January 2024, the position of one of the deputy Secretaries General will be transferred to Kyrgyzstan. The head of state approved the candidacy of Taalatbek Masadykov, Special Representative of the President of the Kyrgyz Republic for Special Assignments, for appointment to this position.
Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, said the CSTO Member States “have contributed to strengthening the CSTO’s key mission as a regional defence structure responsible for maintaining peace and stability in the vast Eurasian space."
According to Mr Putin, the CSTO’s contacts with “our natural partners” – China and the CIS countries – have also developed. The head of state noted joint efforts to improve the CSTO’s collective rapid deployment and operational response forces, aviation and peacekeeping forces.
Mt Putin focused on the CSTO operation Nayomnik (“Mercenary”) aimed at suppressing recruitment and blocking channels for citizens of the Treaty countries to leave to participate in the activities of international terrorist groups. "Our countries, and Russia among them, do not accept terrorism in any of its manifestations," Mr Putin stressed.
Before the meeting, Emomali Rahmon, President of Tajikistan, praised Belarus’ CSTO presidency.
Imangali Tasmagambetov, CSTO Secretary General, announced the appointment of former Commander of the Russian Airborne Troops Colonel-General Andrei Serdyukov as the new Chief of the CSTO Joint Staff.
As you may recall, the decision to hold the next CSTO summit in Minsk was taken following the previous summit in Yerevan. According to the statutory documents of the Organization, the CSTO summit is held in the capital of the presiding state.