On 13 November 2023, the XVI meeting of the Council of the Collective Security Treaty Organization's Consultative Coordination Centre for Responding to Computer Incidents (CSTO CCC) was held in Moscow, with the participation of leading experts and representatives of the national authorized bodies for Responding to Computer Incidents of the CSTO member states.
A meeting of the CSTO Collective Security Council was held in Minsk on 23 November.
The heads of states have discussed in detail current problems of international and regional security and the main results of the activities of the CSTO during the inter-sessional period.
A meeting of the heads of the Collective Security Treaty Organization member states under the chairmanship of the President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko has begun in Minsk in the narrow format.
On 22 November 2023, in Minsk, a joint meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers, the Council of Defense Ministers and the Committee of Secretaries of the Security Councils of the CSTO was held. Representatives of the Republic of Armenia did not take part in the meeting.
In accordance with the Action Plan for the implementation of the decisions of the November 20-22 session of the CSTO CSC and the fulfilment of the priority areas of the Organization’s activities, two documents relevant to the stabilization of the situation in the South Caucasus have been developed so far under the chairmanship of the Republic of Belarus.
Statement by the CSTO Secretary General I. Tasmagambetov at the meeting of the CSTO Parliamentary Assembly Council in Minsk on 18 May 2023 "Implementation of decisions of the November (2022) session of the CSTO CSC and the current situation in the CSTO ar18.05.2023
Dear Vyacheslav Viktorovich,
Dear members of the Council of the CSTO Parliamentary Assembly,
I am grateful for the invitation to address today's meeting of the Council of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Collective Security Treaty Organization. This is my first address to you as CSTO Secretary General. I am confident that our meeting today will continue our business and constructive interaction on the whole range of issues of mutual interest.
Since I took office, a series of working visits to the CSTO member countries have taken place to present relevant reports to the heads of state and discuss pressing issues of our Organization's activities in the current environment.
The results of these meetings confirm the particular relevance and importance of the parliamentary dimension in the CSTO activities, especially in a sharply aggravated international situation, which is undergoing a profound transformation. The plans to form a common space of peace, stability and prosperity are being replaced by legal nihilism, the loss of many important components of the system of strategic deterrence and the mentality of bloc confrontation. All these factors directly affect the situation on the perimeter of the CSTO area of responsibility.
The situation on the west remains permanently difficult. NATO's military infrastructure is building up.
The intensity of intelligence activities of the North Atlantic Alliance is increasing.
It is clear that the state of security in Eastern Europe as a whole will be determined by the results of the Special Military Operation in Ukraine and the subsequent peace agreements.
Tensions persist in the South Caucasus as a consequence of years of contradictions between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
There are intermittent outbreaks of armed clashes on the line of contact between the opposing sides, and the blockade of the Lachin corridor continues.
Once again, as it was stated at the November 2022 session of the Collective Security Council, we confirm our readiness to provide possible assistance to Yerevan both by sending a CSTO monitoring mission and through military and technical assistance, training of border guards and equipping them with modern technical means.
We certainly welcome the efforts of the conflicting parties to conclude a comprehensive peace agreement.
The development of the situation in such states as Iran, Turkey and Syria, which have a direct impact on the situation in the Caucasus region of collective security, requires constant attention.
The high potential risks in Central Asia are primarily related to the danger of the spread of terrorism and extremism and narcotic drugs from the territory of Afghanistan.
Opium poppy cultivation in that country increased 32 percent last year to 233,000 hectares, according to the UN. Revenues from the production and distribution of narcotic drugs doubled.
According to expert estimates, more than 20 terrorist organizations, numbering about 10,000 people, are active on the territory of Afghanistan. At the same time, up to 4,000 fighters are concentrated in the provinces of Afghanistan adjacent to the southern borders of the CSTO area of responsibility.
We plan to continue to monitor these challenges and threats and to coordinate efforts to counter them using the capabilities of the CSTO Ministerial Council Working Group on Afghanistan. The other day our Organization's Secretariat hosted its regular meeting, in which the Charge d'Affaires of Afghanistan in the Russian Federation took part for the first time.
We pay increased attention to the normalization of the situation on the Kyrgyz-Tajik border. We support the statements by the leaders of the two countries that there is no alternative to resolving territorial problems by political and diplomatic means, and we welcome the agreement on the 625 km section of the border, which is 63 per cent of its total length. And this certainly gives hope for the resolution of the conflict. The CSTO has the necessary capacity to provide, should Bishkek and Dushanbe appeal, substantial assistance in solving the border problem. There is experience in solving such problems.
And it will undoubtedly lead to greater stability in Central Asia.
Dear Council Members,
This year's activities of the CSTO are based on the Priority Areas of the Republic of Belarus Chairmanship, which are timely and integral in nature.
The Belarusian side has identified the following priority areas of work:
1. Resolution of crisis situations and prevention of further destabilization in the CSTO area of responsibility;
2. The effective positioning of the CSTO on the outer boundary through the development of cooperation with international organizations and third countries in order to meet the evolving challenges of global and regional security;
3. Improving the readiness of components of the CSTO Troops (Collective Forces) to fulfill their earmarked tasks and strengthening military-technical cooperation among the CSTO member states;
4. Building the institutional capacity of the CSTO in the information and analytical sphere.
The CSTO Secretariat intends to fully support the implementation of this document. In this connection, we note the fundamental importance of implementing the section of the Belarusian Chairmanship Program dealing with the settlement of crisis situations in the CSTO zone of responsibility.
The results of the November (2022) session of the Collective Security Council and my contacts with the leadership of the CSTO member states clearly demonstrate the high demand for further improvement of the collective security system in all its basic elements — political coordination, military cooperation, countering transnational challenges and threats.
Despite considerable pressure from the outside, the CSTO's multilevel mechanism of political consultations remains highly effective. With its help, member states find a common language in assessing international events, coordinate positions on a wide range of global and regional security problems, and pursue a coordinated policy at leading international venues.
Joint statements by the CSTO member states remain a popular form of fixing agreed positions. At present we are preparing drafts on such topical global security issues as:
- Prevention of an arms race in space;
- Non-deployment of intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles;
- The situation in Afghanistan, etc.
The Organization is working to improve its information and analytical activities. The focus is on strategic forecasting in the sphere of new challenges and threats to collective security and analytical support for the CSTO activities. We intend to actively involve in this work influential representatives of government bodies and scientific and expert centers of our countries. We are working on the prospects of expanding the interaction between the CSTO Secretariat and analytical structures that specialize in international relations.
We are preparing for the International Conference on Eurasian Security, scheduled for autumn 2023 in Minsk.
The United Nations remains our key partner in international relations. We have a mutual interest in increasing cooperation on peacekeeping and counter-terrorism, as well as in enhancing the security of information and communication technologies (ICTs).
We are currently implementing the 2025 Road Map for integrating the collective peacekeeping capabilities of the CSTO into United Nations peacekeeping activities. To that end, we are continuing to create the necessary administrative, legal and organizational conditions.
The primary task is the speedy entry into force of the Protocol amending the CSTO Peacekeeping Agreement. This document provides for the establishment of a "coordinating state" in the Organization, authorized to act on behalf of the Allies in contacts with the UN Secretariat for peacekeeping. The Protocol has been ratified by the Republic of Belarus, the Russian Federation, the Kyrgyz Republic, and the Republic of Tajikistan.
In this regard, I request the parliamentarians of the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Kazakhstan to provide assistance in completing national ratification procedures as soon as possible.
The UN shows considerable interest in the active participation of the CSTO in the consistent and comprehensive implementation of its Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
We are very pleased with the adoption at the 77th session of the UNGA (November 2022) of the Resolution "Cooperation between the United Nations and the CSTO". It states that our Organization, as a multifunctional structure, has serious potential to respond adequately to a wide range of challenges and threats in its area of responsibility.
Our cooperation with the CIS and the SCO is developing fruitfully both bilaterally and trilaterally, given the considerable convergence in our general political approaches.
We are making efforts to restore contacts with the OSCE and, above all, to ensure the participation of representatives of the CSTO Secretariat in politically significant events of that organization.
I recall that the priority in the decisions of the November 2022 session of the CSC was focused on ensuring the military security of the Organization's member states.
In this connection, we are focusing our work on improving the CSTO regulatory framework and national legal acts to ensure prompt decisions on the use of force and a simplified procedure for the transit of contingents with weapons and equipment through the territories of the member states.
We are counting on your support in this matter.
In order to improve the readiness of the CSTO Troops (Collective Forces) to carry out their earmarked tasks, joint training activities are being conducted for the command and control bodies and the forces and means of the collective security system. We support the practice of the participation of parliamentarians as observers in joint trainings held in the CSTO format.
The focus is on the implementation of the CSTO leaders' instruction to submit draft documents on improving the crisis response system for their consideration as early as this year. Their adoption should ensure forecasting and early detection of crisis situations, settlement of existing conflicts and cooperation in post-conflict stabilization.
The practical application of collective efforts in countering cross-border challenges and threats is carried out mainly in the framework of planned operational and preventive measures.
Since 2019, an anti-terrorist complex of measures code-named "Mercenary" has been implemented. Its main goal is to cut off channels of recruitment and departure of citizens of the CSTO member states to participate in terrorist activities.
Since 2003, 31 active phases of the operation “Channel” have been conducted to suppress the distribution of narcotic drugs. During that time, more than 427 tons of narcotic drugs, psychotropic and potent substances, including more than 22 tons of heroin, have been seized from drug dealers.
An operation code-named "Illegal" is intended to help combat illegal migration. As a result of coordinated action over 14 years, about 1.8 million violations of the migration legislation of our countries have been suppressed. Almost 6,000 wanted persons have been detained and about 220,000 foreign nationals have been expelled and deported from the member states of the Organization.
In order to ensure information security and suppress crimes in the sphere of information technology, operation "PROXY" is being conducted within the framework of the CSTO. The operation is aimed at countering the dissemination in sovereign segments of the Internet of information that is politically harmful to national and allied interests.
The legal framework for combining efforts in biosafety has been prepared.
- Agreement on joint logistical and medical support for the CSTO Troops (ratified by the Republic of Belarus, the Kyrgyz Republic, and the Republic of Tajikistan);
- Agreement on jurisdiction and legal assistance in cases relating to temporary stay of formations, forces and means within the Collective Security System on the Territories of CSTO member states (not ratified by the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Kazakhstan);
- Fourth Protocol on Amendments to the Charter of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (on biosecurity) (ratified by the Republic of Belarus).
I would ask for your assistance in completing the ratification procedures for all these international instruments as soon as possible.
I thank you for your attention.