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MOSCOW, December 21 (Itar-Tass) — A meeting of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), at which the leaders of seven countries sought ways to consolidate their association, which next year will celebrate its 10th anniversary, was held in the Kremlin on Tuesday. The meeting participants also decided not to deploy in their territory military bases of other countries without the consent of all the CSTO member states.
More than three dozen items on the agenda were devoted to a greater degree of systematisation of activities within the organisation and increasing its weight in the international arena, Rossiiskaya Gazeta writes. “One of our main goals is to show in the international arena that our organisation is a real, effective and capable of making a contribution to strengthening regional security, that is - in the CSTO responsibility zone and international security,” Russia’s envoy to the CSTO Igor Lyakin-Frolov said.
The most important result of the CSTO summit were measures to limit the West’s influence in the former Soviet Union space, Kommersant writes. Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan agreed on the rules of deployment of foreign military bases in the territory of CSTO member states. From now on, not a single foreign military facility will be able to appear in the countries of the alliance without the consent of all its members. This is one of the key measures worked out by Moscow for turning the CSTO from a decorative structure into a full-fledged military-political bloc, whose members take into account not only their own financial benefit, but also the interests of the partners.
The new agreements give Russia an opportunity to prevent the placement of the US air bases in Tajikistan or Uzbekistan, the newspaper notes. The story with an American base at Kyrgyzstan’s Manas airport, the closure of which has long been sought by the Russian leadership must not be repeated. Unless, of course, the CSTO partners find loopholes in the signed documents and attempt to present a US military facility as a “transit centre” or a “repair station” that do not fall under the ban.
The deployment of the US missile defence system in Europe was a separate item on the summit’s agenda Kommersant continues. The CSTO partners demonstrated their solidarity with Moscow in this sphere as well, condemning “the unilateral deployment of strategic missile defence systems by one state or a group of states, without regard for the legitimate interests of other countries and without the provision of legally binding guarantees to the latter.” The summit participants also criticised the “growing trend for the force interference in crisis situations” by third countries. Neither Libya nor Syria was mentioned, but everybody understood without that which “crisis situations” were meant by the leaders of the CSTO member states.
It is noteworthy that the CSTO member states did not discuss the events in Kazakhstan. At least, CSTO Secretary General Nikolai Bordyuzha said so on the sidelines of the summit. Moreover, he was very surprised by a question why this issue was to be raised at all,” Novye Izvestiya writes. “The leadership there fully controls the situation,” said Bordyuzha. “There is no need to intervene. This is one of the unpleasant events, which are coped with at the national level.” When asked what will happen now with the US military base Manas located on the territory of Kyrgyzstan, he said that the country’s leadership should take a decision on this matter.