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Putin says collective security interests of members paramount as Russia takes over CSTO chairmanship

President Putin said Russia planned to focus on expanding CSTO peacekeeping potential, improve its crisis response system, expand the collaborative fight against terrorism and drug trafficking as the country took up chairmanship of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) in Bishkek, according to CSTO website

On November 28, 2019 in Bishkek, Russia assumed the chairmanship of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).

Speaking at a session of the CSTO Collective Security Council, President Putin reviewed the organisation’s priority areas for the upcoming period.

The Russian chairmanship’s efforts will be aimed at ensuring the collective interests of the CSTO member states and creating conditions for safe and stable development based on the CSTO Collective Security Strategy to 2025.

Special efforts will be made to expand the member states’ foreign policy coordination on important matters of international and regional security, to develop joint political and diplomatic initiatives, to popularise CSTO activities and to improve its international status.

Developing the collective security system’s forces and means with consideration for the dynamics and forecasted development of the military-political situation in the world and the regions located in close proximity to the CSTO zone of responsibility are among the top priorities. Increasing the level of the CSTO Collective Forces’ preparedness to provide the guaranteed defence of its member states and improving the governance system and its comprehensive supplies will be the most important areas of focus. Emphasis will be placed on forming practical mechanisms for a joint response to information security threats and countering today’s combined forms of destructive impact on the CSTO member states.

During Russia's chairmanship of the CSTO, the organisation will continue to improve its crisis response system, primarily through establishing cooperation within the CSTO Crisis Response Centre.

Russia wants to expand the collaborative fight against terrorism and drug trafficking. Particular focus will go to identifying and suppressing activities of international terrorist organisations within the CSTO space, neutralising their resource base, counteracting the recruitment and foreign travel of CSTO member state citizens who intend to participate in terrorist activities. Plans are in place to build up the ability of the collective security system’s forces and means to deal with antiterrorist tasks, and to use the Russian army’s experience of fighting illegal armed units in Syria in their training. Anti-drug cooperation will be strengthened within the CSTO, including as part of the regional operation Channel.

Russia also plans to focus on expanding CSTO peacekeeping potential. This involves improving the peacekeeping personnel training system, increasing the interoperation of the CSTO member states’ peacekeeping contingents and the effectiveness of the CSTO Collective Peacekeeping Forces’ command. The Enduring Brotherhood 2020 joint exercise will be of great importance in these efforts. Improving the regulatory framework and developing a mechanism for engaging CSTO contingents in UN peacekeeping efforts will continue.

Priorities include improving cooperation and establishing partnerships between the CSTO and international organisations and any states that may be interested in this cooperation. In the context of ensuring security in the Eurasian space, developing CSTO contacts with the CIS and the SCO with a focus on countering terrorist threats is of particular importance. The CSTO will continue its dialogue with the UN and the OSCE in areas of mutual interest. During the Russian chairmanship, new opportunities for establishing CSTO interaction with third countries are opening up in connection with establishing CSTO observer and partner status.

The CSTO member states’ joint celebration of the 75th anniversary of Victory in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War will be a major area of focus. The celebration will follow the Collective Security Council-approved list of events.

COLLECTIVE SECURITY TREATY ORGANIZATION

The Collective Security Treaty was signed by Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan on May 15, 1992.

Article 4 is the key part of the Treaty, which runs as follows: “If one of the Member States undergoes aggression, it will be considered by the Member States as aggression to all the Member States of this Treaty.

In case of aggression against any of the Member States, all the other Member States at the request of this Member State shall provide the latter with the necessary help, including military, as well as support by the means at their disposal in accordance with the right to collective defense pursuant to article 51 of the UN Charter.”

The Treaty also provides a mechanism for consultations in case of a threat to security, territorial integrity and sovereignty of one or more member-states or a threat to international peace and security.

In 1993, Azerbaijan, Belarus and Georgia joined the Treaty. The Treaty came into force on April 20, 1994 for five-year period. Six member-states (except Azerbaijan, Georgia and Uzbekistan) signed a protocol renewing the Treaty for another five-year period in 1999.

The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) was established on May 14, 2002. The Charter of the Organization was adopted on October 7, 2002. The CSTO received the status of observer at the United Nations General Assembly on December 2, 2004.

Armenia is a founding member of the CSTO. Membership in the CSTO is a component of the security system of Armenia.

The Collective Security Council (CSC) is the highest body of the Organization. The Council is composed of the Heads of the Member States. The Chairman of the Council is the head of the country holding the Chairmanship of the Organization.

The Council discusses the fundamental issues of the Organization’s activities and makes decisions aimed at the realization of its goals and objectives, as well as ensures the coordination and joint activities of the Member States to achieve these goals.

The executive and advisory bodies of the Organization are the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs coordinating the interaction of the Member States in the field of foreign policy, the Council of Ministers of Defense coordinating the interaction of the Member States in the field of military policy, military capability building and military technical cooperation and the Committee of Secretaries of Security Councils coordinating the interaction of the Member States in ensuring their national security.

The CSTO Permanent Council deals with the coordination of the interaction of member states in the implementation of decisions made by the CSTO bodies in the period between the sessions of the Collective Security Council. It consists of Permanent and Plenipotentiary representatives.

The Secretariat of the Organization is a permanent working body of the Organization which provides organizational, informational, analytical and consultative support for the activities of the bodies of the Organization.

The CSTO Joint Staff is a permanent working body of the Organization, which is responsible for preparing proposals on the CSTO military component as well as organizing and coordinating the implementation of the decisions concerning the military cooperation.

The Parliamentary Assembly is a body of inter-parliamentary cooperation of the Organization, which discusses the issues of cooperation of the member states in the international, military political, legal and other fields, drafts proposals and presents them to the Collective Security Council and the other statutory bodies of the Organization, as well as the parliaments of the member states.

The subsidiary bodies of the CSTO are:

Interstate Commission for Military Economic Cooperation discusses and drafts recommendations aimed at ensuring multilateral military-economic cooperation in a number of areas.

The Interstate Commission for Military-Economic Cooperation meetings are held at least twice a year. To manage the day-to-day activities of the Commission an Interstate Commission for Military-Economic Cooperation Secretary is appointed from the staff of the CSTO Secretariat.

Coordinating Council for Emergency Situations of the CSTO Member States coordinates the interaction of the competent bodies of the member states in the field of prevention and elimination of consequences of emergency situations.

The Coordinating Council of the Heads of the Competent Authorities for Countering the Illicit Drug Trafficking of the CSTO Member States discusses issues related to the improvement and harmonization of legislation on drug trafficking and coordinates the work of the competent authorities in countering the illicit drug trafficking of the CSTO member states, interacts with the relevant bodies of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

The Coordinating Council of the Heads of the Competent Authorities of the Member States of the CSTO to Combat Illegal Migration assists the preparation and conduct of coordinated preventive and special operations to combat illegal migration from third countries to the territory of the CSTO member states, ensures the interaction of the competent authorities towards the improvement of the effectiveness of countering illegal migration and related offenses, develops proposals for the adoption of joint practical measures to counter illegal migration.
Under the aegis of the Organization the following operations are conducted:

“CANAL’’ anti-drug regional operation, “NELEGAL” operation to counter the illegal migration and human trafficking, “PROXY” operation to counter the crimes in the cyberspace, “NAYOMNIK” operation to prevent the possible involvement of the citizens of CSTO member states in the terrorist activities and to eliminate the resources of the international terrorist organizations within the area of responsibility of CSTO.

The CSTO Collective Rapid Reaction Forces were formed by the decision of the Collective Security Council of February 4 2009, to address the security threats and challenges of the CSTO member states.

The Collective Rapid Deployment Forces in the Central Asian region of the collective security were formed by the decision of the Collective Security Council of May 25, 2001 to provide military security of the regional CSTO member states.

On October 6, 2007 the agreement on the CSTO peacekeeping activity was signed.

The CSTO Collective Air Forces were formed by the decision of the Collective Security Council of December 23, 2014 to increase the efficiency of the transportation and the operations of the forces of the CSTO collective security system.

The delegations headed by the Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Defense and the Secretary of Security Council took part in the session of the Collective Security Council on November 8, 2018 and in sessions of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, the Council of Ministers of Defense and the Committee of Secretaries of Security Councils respectively during the year.

The CSC adopted the Decision on the Legal Framework of the Status of the Observer and the Partner at the Collective Security Treaty Organization to further regulate and boost the cooperation with other states and international partners in the fields of mutual interest.

In August the Armenian side initiated a process of early termination of the duties of the Secretary General of the Organization. Given that the corresponding procedures in such cases are not regulated by the statute and other legal acts of the Organization, the Armenian side initiated a process to fill the legal gaps.

On September 26 in New York and on December 6 in Milan the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the member states of the CSTO held working meetings.

On May, 22, 2019 the session of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the CSTO was held in Bishkek chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic Chingiz Aydarbekov.

During this session the Statement on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Belarus from Nazi invaders and the Open Address of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the CSTO member states to the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the NATO member states on strengthening mutual trust and developing cooperation were adopted.

The Council of Foreign Ministers decided to submit the candidacy of Stanislav Vasilyevich Zas, currently the State Secretary of the Security Council of the Republic of Belarus, to the CSTO Collective Security Council for the post of Secretary General of the CSTO for a three-year term starting from the 1st of January 2020.

It was also decided to instruct the Permanent Council and the CSTO Secretariat to develop proposals for amending the Regulation on the CSTO Secretariat.

Russia’s CSTO Chairmanship website is: https://cstorussia2020.mid.ru/

Surces: CSTO / MFA

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