Imangali Tasmagambetov, the Collective Security Treaty Organization Secretary General, told BELTA news agency correspondent whether the CSTO sought to become a counterweight to NATO, the situation in the East European region of collective security, the role of Belarus in the organization, and what initiative of the President of Belarus had become important and timely for the CSTO.


From 17 to 28 June 2024, at the Academy of Management of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation for representatives of senior staff of foreign states, a special two-week training course on the organization of the activities of law enforcement agencies and special services of the CSTO member states to ensure collective security was held.


The Chairman of the Coordination Council of Heads of Competent Authorities for Countering Illicit Drug Trafficking of Collective Security Treaty Organization member states, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, Police Colonel-General Andrei Khrapov, summarized the preliminary results of the subregional anti-drug operation "Channel - Far Eastern Raid".


From 25 to 27 June, the Republic of Kazakhstan hosted the second staff talks on the organization and conduct of the "Indestructible Brotherhood-2024" command-staff training with the CSTO Peacekeeping Forces.

Interview of the CSTO Secretary General Imangali Tasmagambetov to the BelTA news agency


Imangali Nurgaliyevich, what is the key direction of the CSTO's development? Is it a counterweight to NATO or does it have a different strategy?

- The strategic goal of the Collective Security Treaty Organization is to ensure collective security by consolidating the efforts and resources of the CSTO member states based on strategic partnership and the universally recognized norms and principles of the international law. To that end, the organization is taking measures aimed at the comprehensive development of political and military cooperation, joint countering of challenges and threats, and the solution of other tasks in the interests of collective security.

The CSTO does not aim to become a counterweight to any organization or country. In principle, both the organization and its members advocate the rejection of bloc thinking, which reduces the opportunities for cooperation and often significantly limits the national sovereignty of the participants in such associations. At the same time, of course, NATO's actions are monitored and analyzed. During meetings of experts and representatives of the leadership of the member states, all factors that in one way or another affect the situation in the CSTO area of responsibility are discussed in detail. At the same time, the CSTO has the capacity to promptly take and implement all necessary decisions, taking into account the interests of all member states.

The Eastern European region of collective security is probably the most tense for the CSTO. Are there plans to strengthen the CSTO's military component, especially in light of the fact that NATO is seriously increasing its potential near the CSTO's western borders?

- The situation in the Eastern European region of collective security undoubtedly remains the focus of the organization’s attention. In addition to actively working on regional issues within the CSTO, we are cooperating closely with the relevant bodies in the Republic of Belarus and Russia.

For example, last year in the Republic of Belarus, as part of the joint operational and strategic trainings of the CSTO troops (collective forces) "Combat Brotherhood - 2023", trainings with the CSTO Collective Rapid Reaction Forces "Interaction-2023", special trainings with intelligence forces and means of reconnaissance "Search-2023", special trainings with logistical support forces and means of the CSTO troops (collective forces) "Echelon-2023", and special trainings with the CSTO joint CSTO NBC defense and medical support unit "Barrier-2023" were held. More than 2,500 military personnel and more than 500 pieces of weapons, military and special equipment were involved in these events. The main purpose of the trainings was to improve the coordination and coherence of the work of management bodies in the preparation and conduct of joint operations. In addition, in the Republic of Belarus, trainings to ensure the nuclear and radiation safety of the population were held as part of the special training "Skala-2023" for rescue units of the CSTO countries.

At present, the CSTO is not considering strengthening the military component, but effective coordination and decision-making mechanisms have been established and are functioning in the organization, which makes it possible to respond promptly to any challenges and threats. Work is under way to improve the use of the forces and means currently available to the organization.

How would you assess the role of the Republic of Belarus in the CSTO and in which security components the experience and capabilities of Belarus are most valuable for the CSTO?

It is important to emphasize that the Republic of Belarus has always demonstrated an exceptionally responsible and proactive approach to its participation in the CSTO. Many of the political and defense projects implemented in the format of the organization received an impetus precisely thanks to Minsk's active position. The CSTO Secretariat highly appreciated the constructive approach of our Belarusian colleagues, in particular in addressing the issues put forward for consideration at the meetings of the statutory bodies held in Almaty in May and June of this year.

Of the recent major initiatives of the Belarusian side, I believe that the high-level conference "Eurasian Security: Reality and Prospects in a Transforming World" held in Minsk in October 2023, during Belarus's chairmanship of the CSTO, deserves special attention. The event was a landmark event, given the composition of the participants and the results of the discussions. We support the initiative of Minsk, which intends to make this conference an annual event, and believe that it could well become a Eurasian alternative to the Munich Security Conference.

One of the initiatives of President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko during his presidency of the CSTO in 2023 was to strengthen the analytical component of the organization. How is this task being addressed and how important is it for the CSTO?

The strengthening of the analytical and forecasting component in the work of the CSTO was undoubtedly a very timely and important initiative. The world is becoming more complex, the international security system is under serious strain, and there is a need to study various facts and events more carefully and to take into account a greater number of factors in order to make more calibrated decisions. In addressing collective security issues, it is important to be able to control the situation as much as possible in order to prevent and preventively neutralize challenges and threats. It is always easier to prevent threats than to deal with the consequences of crises. That is why the forecasting and analytical component of the CSTO's work is so important. In addition, the organization is striving to strengthen this component. Thus, in order to realize the priority of the Republic of Belarus mentioned by you, a unit has been set up from among the staff of the CSTO Secretariat to carry out analytical and forecasting work. In addition to conducting its own research on topical issues, this unit works closely with leading think tanks in the member states and a number of other countries. Over the past period, a number of major conferences and expert discussions have been held, during which a wide range of topical security problems have been discussed.

I take this opportunity to congratulate the staff of the BELTA news agency and its audience on the upcoming Independence Day of the Republic of Belarus. I sincerely wish your beautiful and hospitable country peace, kindness and prosperity.


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