DUSHANBE, September 15. /TASS/. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has called for reinforcement of military might in the regional CSTO group assembling six former Soviet states amid growing extremism and tension in zones of simmering conflict.
"Risks and threats from outside remain common for all countries," Lukashenko said at a summit of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). "A growing level of extremism and the influence of international terrorist groups cause concern," the leader noted.
"Today we witness an escalation of tension in zones of neglected crises, open military activities and emergence of new centers of instability, also close to our borders," he added.
"As a result of this we see deaths, disintegration of states, impoverishment of peoples and unprecedented flows of refugees and illegal migrants," the president said, urging the strengthening of CSTO military might and mechanisms of crisis response.
"In the near future we are to build up certain elements of the military component, namely to decide on the regional system of air defence and a peacekeeping force," the president said.
Lukashenko said Belarus would continue cooperating with CSTO countries in developing relations across all spheres of regional and international security.
The CSTO assembly groups Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.