ONLINE BRIEFING OF CSTO GENERAL SECRETARY STANISLAV ZAS, February 2, 2021, the press center of the TASS news agency

02.02.2021

On February 2, 2021, an online briefing by the Secretary General of the Collective Security Treaty Organization Stanislav Zas took place at  the press center of the TASS news agency on the topic "The Results of the CSTO Activities in 2020 and Tasks for 2021" with video connection of media representatives. 

In his speech, Stanislav Zas assessed  the military-political situation in and around the CSTO area of responsibility at present,  as well as summed up the results of the Organization's work in the past year and informed about the tasks set for the CSTO in 2021.

Speech by the CSTO Secretary General S.V. Zas at the briefing: TASS_44101870.jpg

"“Last year, the tasks set by the November (2019) session of the Collective Security Council and identified by the priorities of the Russian chairmanship were solved.

Based on the epidemiological situation, meetings of the statutory bodies and sessions of the Collective Security Council were transferred to an online format, a number of military and special trainings were postponed.

In the CSTO format, statements by the foreign ministers of the CSTO member states on solidarity and mutual assistance in the fight against coronavirus infection (COVID-19) and on support for the UN Secretary General's call for a global ceasefire in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic were timely adopted. Consultations of the CSTO member states on the exchange of experience in countering the pandemic were organized in a timely manner. The CSTO member states organize and conduct daily monitoring of the state and dynamics of the spread of coronavirus infection in the area of responsibility of the Organization.

In the political sphere, one of the important directions of the CSTO activity was the expansion of cooperation with international and regional organizations.

The dialogue with the UN is actively developing. This is one of the priority areas. I would like to note that the signing of the Joint Statement of the UN Secretary General and the CSTO Secretary General in connection with the 10th anniversary of the Joint Declaration on Cooperation between the Secretariats of the two Organizations, which was published on the opening day of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly (September 15, 2020), contributed to more intensive development of our dialogue. Interaction with the UN Secretariat and its specialized subdivisions on the problems of combating terrorism, countering the spread of drugs, and integrating the CSTO peacekeeping potential into the UN peacekeeping activities developed productively.

As part of the development of cooperation with the OSCE, we actively participate in the events of this credible Organization to exchange views on the state of international security and measures to strengthen it, as well as on issues of countering challenges and threats to security in the European direction.

We are also actively developing contacts with the working bodies and specialized subdivisions of the CIS and the SCO, which are close to us in composition and foreign policy approaches (the CIS Counter-Terrorism Centre  and the RATS SCO). Representatives of the CSTO and these international organizations, on a reciprocal basis, took part in the work of the statutory bodies and other events.

I definitely want to note such an important event for all of us in 2020 - the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory in the Great Patriotic War in 1941-1945. In May last year, the Foreign Ministers of the CSTO member states adopted a Statement dedicated to the anniversary date. A notable and very significant event was the military Victory Parade in Moscow with the participation of military personnel from all CSTO member states. Officers, sergeants and soldiers of the armed forces of all countries that make up our Organization marched in a single formation.

As part of the coordination of foreign policy activities in the CSTO format, it is important to adopt joint statements at various levels. They express the agreed positions of the member states of the Organization on topical problems of international life and current events in the world. In total, 15 such statements were adopted and circulated last year, including the final Declaration of the CSC CSTO. Also statements on the formation of a just and sustainable world order, on commitment to the principles of the UN Charter, on strengthening cooperation and coordination of efforts in order to combat international terrorism, on the situation in Afghanistan and others.

In the field of military cooperation in 2020, the main efforts in the field of military cooperation were focused on preparing the command and control bodies and formations of the assets of the collective security system of the Organization to perform earmarked tasks. Unfortunately, due to the limitations associated with the pandemic, the Plan for joint training was not fully implemented. 

Nevertheless, with a good result, a strategic command and staff training on the basis of the CSTO Crisis Response Center and a command and staff training with the CSTO Peacekeeping Forces "Indestructible Brotherhood-2020" were conducted in October 2020 on the territory of the Republic of Belarus. In November last year, in the course of a command and staff training with the Command of the CSTO Collective Rapid Reaction Forces, the promising structure and staff of the Command of the CSTO CRRF were successfully tested on the basis of the command of the Airborne Forces of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.

I will dwell on the CSTO Peacekeeping Forces in more detail. We attach particular importance to their development today. For the first time in the practice of joint operational and combat training, a Peacekeeping Mission was formed at the aforementioned command and staff training with the CSTO Peacekeeping Forces "Indestructible Brotherhood - 2020". The algorithm of its operation was tested in a conflict zone on the territory of a state that is not a member of the CSTO.

Currently, a process is underway to work out a mechanism for involving the peacekeeping contingents of the CSTO member states in the UN peacekeeping activities. At the session of the CSC on December 2, 2020, amendments to the existing Agreement on the CSTO Peacekeeping Activities were approved, providing for the possibility of attracting the CSTO Peacekeeping Forces to the UN peacekeeping missions through the “coordinating state” - the CSTO member. Also, a special purpose medical unit will be included in the Organization's Peacekeeping Forces.

The basic educational and methodological organization for the training of personnel of the CSTO Peacekeeping Forces has been determined. It is Russian Federation Armed Forces Combined Arms Academy.

We continued to work on improving the comprehensive support of the CSTO Collective Forces. A working group on electronic warfare was created. The Agreement on joint Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, technical and medical support of the CSTO Troops (Collective Forces) was approved.

As part of the work on training military personnel, the status of the basic organization in the field of training personnel responsible for ensuring the national security and defense capability of the CSTO member states was given to the Military Academy of the General Staff of the RF Armed Forces.

Measures were taken to implement the Program in the development of military-economic and military-technical cooperation. Work continued on the implementation of the Special Interstate Policy for equipping the CSTO CRRF with modern weapons, military and special equipment, and special means.

One of the priorities in the CSTO activities is the sphere of counteraction to modern challenges and threats. Based on the "Collective Action Plan of the CSTO member states for the implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy for 2019-2021." we are stepping up our joint efforts to combat terrorism and related extremism. Regular work is underway to generalize the national experience of the CSTO member states in implementing programs for deradicalization of religious people, existing scientific and technological developments in countering the information and psychological impact of the ideology of international terrorist organizations on the society.

In order to increase the effectiveness of joint efforts to combat the spread of narcotic drugs, together with the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, the Anti-Drug Strategy of the CSTO Member States for 2021-2025 was prepared and approved at the December (2020) session of the CSTO CSC. Unfortunately, in 2020, due to the pandemic, it was not possible to carry out the active phase of the anti-drug “Channel” operation.

In the field of combating illegal migration, the main attention was paid to the implementation of the Plan for the development of a collective system for combating illegal migration until 2025. The restrictions on movement introduced by all countries have somewhat reduced tensions in this area. At the same time, interaction between the CSTO member states and monitoring of the migration situation continued.

Information security was strengthened by the special “PROXY” operation to curb the use of information and communication technologies for criminal purposes. At the same time, the five-fold increase in the number of crimes in the information sphere in the first half of 2020 indicates the need to continue paying close attention to this area of ​​the Organization's activities.

In general, I positively assess the results of the activities of our Organization in 2020, despite all the restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

I will mention briefly the main tasks that we face in 2021. We are determined to continue to defend the interests of the CSTO member states, to protect peace and stability in them, as well as to expand cooperation with external partners. I am convinced that together we will be able to overcome any challenges and ensure collective security in the Eurasian space.

This year, the CSTO is chaired by the Republic of Tajikistan. A distinctive feature of the priorities proposed by the Tajik side is their focus on ensuring the implementation of the CSTO Collective Security Strategy for the period up to 2025, developing a system of collective and regional stability, and countering challenges and threats to collective security.

We plan to continue to pay great attention to the coordination of the foreign policy activities of the CSTO member states and the development of interaction with leading regional and international organizations, such as the UN, the OSCE, the CIS and the SCO, as well as their specialized anti-terrorist and anti-drug structures.

We plan to start working on increasing the level of interaction with some countries and organizations to the Observer status under the CSTO or a CSTO Partner. The process of ratification and entry into force of a package of documents on the legal registration of these statuses in the CSTO format has just completed. I want to say that there are many countries that share our principles and approaches to ensuring security. We intend to actively interact with them.


The main task in the field of military cooperation is the practical implementation of the activities of the "Plan for the development of military cooperation of the member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization for 2021-2025", which was adopted at the session of the Collective Security Council held last December.

In 2021, we have planned a complex of joint trainings, united by a common concept as part of the operational and strategic training "Combat Brotherhood-2021". This include:

- joint training with the Collective Rapid Reaction Forces of the CSTO "Interaction-2021", a special training with the assets of reconnaissance "Search-2021", a special training with the assets of Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics and technical support of the CSTO Troops (Collective Forces) "Echelon-2021" on the territory of the Republic of Tajikistan;

- a joint training with the CSTO Peacekeeping Forces "Indestructible Brotherhood-2021" and an efficient collection with the Command of the Collective Rapid Deployment Forces of the Central Asian region of collective security on the territory of the Russian Federation.

As I have already said, the further development of the CSTO Peacekeeping Forces will continue, which, first of all, is aimed at increasing the operational and tactical compatibility of the peacekeeping contingents of the CSTO member states for use in peacekeeping operations under the auspices of the UN.

We will continue to implement the Program of military-economic cooperation of the CSTO member states and plan to complete the preparation of a Plan for equipping the CSTO CRRF with modern weapons, military and special equipment, and special means.

In the field of countering modern challenges and threats, one of the main tasks is the implementation of measures within the framework of the Collective Action Plan of the CSTO member states for the implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy for 2019-2021. We also plan to prepare and carry out special operations "Mercenary - 2021", "Channel-2021," Illegal-2021 "and PROXY operation.

An important direction in our work should be the high-quality preparation and conduct in 2021 on the territory of the Republic of Tajikistan of a special tactical training “Cobalt”, with the command and control bodies and formations of special forces of the CRRF CSTO, canceled due to the pandemic in 2020.

In the field of countering the spread of narcotic drugs, we are starting to implement the provisions of the Anti-Drug Strategy of the CSTO member states for 2021-2025, also adopted at the CSC session on December 2, 2020.

We intend to complete the preparation of the CSTO Special Interstate Policy for strengthening sections of the Tajik-Afghan Border.

In the CSTO format, work will continue to create mechanisms for interaction between the CSTO member states in the field of biological security. We are working on the creation of a Coordination Meeting of the heads of the competent departments of the CSTO member states on biological safety issues. "

Thank you for attention.



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