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ALMATY, November 17 (Itar-Tass) —— The CIS defence ministers will gather for their 61st meeting in Kazakhstan on Thursday, November 17, to discuss more than 20 issues.
Russian Defence Ministry spokesperson Irina Kovalchuk told Itar-Tass, “The meeting will be chaired by Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov”.
The defence ministers will adopt a joint statement in connection with the upcoming 20th anniversary of their Council to be marked in February 2012, and will review the performance of the Council’s working bodies in 2011 and their plans for 2012.
“Judging from long-term approaches to the development of military cooperation, the Council of the CIS Defence Ministers will pay special attention to the creation and improvement of [joint] military systems, specifically the development and composition of the joint radiation, chemical and biological monitoring and assessment system and the joint air defence system in the CIS,” Kovalchuk said.
The previous 60th meeting of the Council took place in Sochi, Russia, on July 6, 2011. Serdyukov said at the meeting that “the defence ministries of the CIS countries solve similar tasks, the main of which is modernisation of the national armed forces.”
“Our states bear responsibility for peace and stability in the CIS. The level of mutually advantageous strategic partnership among its member states is critical to the security and economic development of the CIS as a whole,” the minister said.
In September, the Coordination Committee on CIS Air Defence met to discuss ways to improve the join air defence system in the Commonwealth of Independent States.
The 35th meeting of the Coordination Committee on CIS Air Defence under the Council of CIS Defence Ministers took place in Astrakhan ahead of the active phase of tactical air defence exercises code-named “Combat Commonwealth-2011”.
The agenda included eight issues concerning the improvement and development of the united air defence system as well as the strengthening of multilateral military cooperation among the CIS member states in the field of air defence.
The participants in the meeting discussed amendments to the committee's line-up, joint events of the CIS united air defence system in 2012, and optimisation of the structure and combat line-up of the united air defence system units.
The meeting was chaired by the Head of the Coordination Committee on CIS Air Defence under the Council of CIS Defence Ministers, Russian Air Force Commander, Colonel-General Alexander Zelin.
Delegations from the defence ministries of Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Moldova, Azerbaijan, and Ukraine, as well as officials from the governing bodies of the CIS, the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) and the defence industry attended the meeting.
Experts expect military-technical cooperation between Russia and its CSTO allies to increase considerably in the years to come.
The CSTO is a military-political alliance of seven countries: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
On October 7, 2002, the Presidents of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan, signed a charter in Tashkent, founding the Collective Security Treaty Organisation. Nikolai Bordyuzha was appointed secretary general of the new organisation. On June 23, 2006, Uzbekistan became a full participant in the CSTO and its membership was formally ratified by its parliament on March 28, 2008. The CSTO is an observer organisation at the United Nations General Assembly.
The charter reaffirmed the desire of all participating states to abstain from the use or threat of force. Signatories would not be able to join other military alliances or other groups of states, while aggression against one signatory would be perceived as an aggression against all. To this end, the CSTO holds yearly military command exercises for the CSTO nations to have an opportunity to improve inter-organisation cooperation.
The CSTO employs a rotating presidency system in which the country leading the CSTO alternates every year.
The CSTO grew out of the framework of the Commonwealth of Independent States, and first began as the CIS Collective Security Treaty (CST), which was signed on May 15, 1992, by Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russian Federation, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, in the city of Tashkent. Azerbaijan signed the treaty on September 24, 1993, Georgia on December 9, 1993 and Belarus on December 31, 1993. The treaty came into effect on April 20, 1994.
The purpose of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation is to guarantee the national security of each of its members and to ensure their territorial integrity. In case of a menace, looming over any member-country, all the other CSTO participants will be duty-bound to give it all the necessary aid, including military assistance. The military-political relations among the CSTO nations hold supremacy over their military relations and contacts with third countries, which are not CSTO members.
The Treaty's overall system of collective security includes some regional subsystems, acting in three directions: in the European direction (the Russian-Belarusian military group) and in the Caucasian direction (the Russian-Armenian group).