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Russian ambassador to US says post-Soviet military bloc ensures regional security

November 09, 2017, 8:26 UTC+3 WASHINGTON

The Collective Security Treaty Organization includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan

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WASHINGTON, November 9. /TASS/. The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) is a credible regional structure, which ensures security and stability, territorial integrity and sovereignty for the participating countries, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said Wednesday.

On Wednesday, Antonov attended a reception in the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C. on occasion of the 25th anniversary since signing the Collective Security Treaty and the 15th anniversary since establishing the CSTO on its basis. Among the guests were the Serbian ambassador and charges d’affaires of China and Laos in the US, and dozens of other diplomats and defense ministry officials from different countries.

"It is important to know and it was stressed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in April this year that our regional alliance was created neither during the Cold War nor during the power war competition, which rendered the attempts to rival the CSTO against another state or a group of countries as illegitimate," Antonov said.

"Our ultimate goal is to create a favorable and stable environment for comprehensive development of all member-states. We are open to cooperation with all countries for the sake of promoting peace, security and stability both at the regional and international level," he said. The CSTO Charter states that in order to achieve these goals the member-states should give priority to political means.

According to Antonov, all decisions of the CSTO are made by consensus and it has great experience of cooperating based on equal partnership, mutual respect and non-interference in domestic affairs. "We see in this a potential for future development of the organization."

The CSTO also created conditions for collective advancement of common interests on the international arena. "We are satisfied with an increased level of foreign policy coordination among the organization’s member-states," Antonov said. The CSTO successfully cooperates with other international structures for regional security, most notably the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. "We expand cooperation on maintaining peace and security between the CSTO and the United Nations."

A joint statement of the CSTO made during the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly on October 4, 2017 includes a call "to join efforts of all states in order to strengthen comprehensive stability as a foundation for securing a lasting peace, reliable, equal and indivisible security. I wish to all every success in achieving this goal. When we stand united, there is no doubt we can handle this."

The agreement on collective security was signed on May 15, 1992, and the agreement on setting up the Collective Security Treaty Organization was inked on October 7, 2002. As of now, the organization includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan.

The CSTO collective rapid reaction forces have 22,000 personnel, and another 3,500 are part of the peacekeeping forces, the organization’s Secretary-General Yuri Khatchaturov said.

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