MINSK, February 13. /TASS/. The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) plans to hold three drills on the territory of Belarus this year, CSTO Secretary General Imangali Tasmagambetov said after a meeting with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on Monday.
"For the purpose of bolstering existing possibilities in the military sphere, practical steps are envisaged with the primary goal of ensuring combat readiness of the organization’s collective forces. In this regard, three drills - Interaction, Echelon and Search - are planned on the territory of Belarus this year," the news agency BelTA quoted the CSTO chief as saying.
The CSTO’s substantial multi-functional potential enables the bloc to respond to a broad range of modern mounting challenges and threats, he pointed out.
"A certain belt of instability is emerging along the perimeter of the CSTO’s responsibility and borders, with an arc of conflicts extending from the southern frontiers of the organization’s member states directly to the Eastern European region through the South Caucasus," the bloc’s chief said.
"That is why, the Belarusian president highlighted the need to further develop the system of anti-crisis measures, improve the existing and create new crisis response components," he went on to say.
A major area of work will embrace measures to fight terrorism and cross-border crime, drug trafficking and illegal migration and efforts in the sphere of information security, he said.
The post-Soviet security bloc will continue cooperation with large regional and international structures, including the UN, the CIS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe (OSCE), he pointed out.
"Our goal is to provide foreign policy support for all of the organization’s possibilities and those efforts that it takes to ensure regional security," the CSTO chief said.
"The CSTO potential was highly valued at the 77th UN session by the adoption of the corresponding resolution of the UN and the CSTO," he said.
The CSTO chief also informed the Belarusian president about the steps that the post-Soviet security bloc’s secretariat was taking to involve the organization’s collective peacekeeping forces in UN peacekeeping operations. He also said that following the results of the meeting, the Belarusian head of state approved a plan of measures to implement the decisions of the November session of the CSTO Collective Security Council and fulfil work in the priority areas of the CSTO activity during the presidency of Belarus in the organization.