MOSCOW, May 16. /TASS/. Moscow hosts the anniversary summit of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) on Monday. The meeting is timed to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the signing of the agreement and the 20th anniversary of the association itself.
It is expected that the summit will be attended the leaders of all six member-states: Russian President Vladimir Putin, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, Kazakh leader Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov, and Tajik leader Emomali Rahmon.
The CSTO Secretary General Stanislav Zas will also attend the meeting.
The leaders of the countries of CSTO will meet in person for the first time in a long time. Several previous summits - both regular and extraordinary - were held partially or entirely via video conference due to the situation with the coronavirus. The last fully face-to-face meeting took place even before the start of the pandemic, in November 2019, in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek.
Earlier the Kremlin press service reported that the summit is expected to discuss key issues of cooperation within the CSTO, current international and regional issues, as well as measures to further improve the collective security system.
According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, the summit may also touch upon the situation in Ukraine. "Although this will be an anniversary summit, of course, there will also be substantive discussions and an exchange of views. And, of course, it can be assumed with a high degree of certainty that the Ukrainian problem will also be on the agenda," the Kremlin spokesman said.
Speaking about the format of the event, Peskov said: "It will be both a meeting of leaders and their separate communication in the format of a working breakfast." In addition to the general program, a number of bilateral meetings are planned.
In particular, there will be a separate conversation between Putin and Lukashenko. According to the Belarusian side, one of its main topics will be "the development of cooperation and joint work on import substitution."
After the summit the CSTO Secretary General and the Prime Minister of Armenia, the country currently chairing the organization, are expected to make statements for the media. It is also expected that a statement of the CSTO Collective Security Council will be signed in connection with the anniversaries.
The CSTO is an international security organization whose members are currently six states: Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The Collective Security Treaty was signed on May 15, 1992 in Tashkent.