All news

Top Russian diplomat to discuss security issues with CSTO counterparts in Almaty

The foreign ministry of Kazakhstan said the ministers are expected to sign several documents aimed at improving the organization’s work, and to adopt a number of political statements

ALMATY, June 21. /TASS/. A meeting of the Foreign Ministers Council of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), held under the chairmanship of Kazakhstan, will begin in Almaty on Friday.

The Russian Foreign Ministry’s official spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, earlier confirmed that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will take part. In her words, top diplomats from the CSTO member states will discuss the current international and regional landscape, review the outcomes of various CSTO collaborations, and deliberate on enhancing coordination in foreign policy.

The CSTO Foreign Ministers Council is expected to approve several draft decisions presented by the Collective Security Council during its regular session on November 28, 2024, she added.

The foreign ministry of Kazakhstan, which holds the organization’s rotating presidency this year, said the ministers are expected to sign several documents aimed at improving the organization’s work, and to adopt a number of political statements.

Exit or suspension

Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan will not attend the meeting in Kazakhstan, making it the first such event without Armenia’s participation.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said in February 2024 that his country was suspending its participation in the CSTO. In his words, permanent withdrawal from the organization will be his country’s next logical step. At the same time, the CSTO Secretariat said it still viewed Armenia as a full member of the group.

Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov commented on these statements by saying that Russia and Armenia will continue to treat each other as allies and partners.

Challenges and threats

In the run-up to the meeting, CSTO Secretary General Imangali Tasmagambetov and secretaries of security councils of the member states discussed measures to neutralize common threats at a meeting in Almaty on June 6. Participants discussed the military and political situation in the CSTO area of responsibility.

Russian Security Council Secretary Sergey Shoigu said, addressing his counterparts, that "the situation within the CSTO area of responsibility remains uneasy." "Moreover, it tends to deteriorate. A major reason for that is the policy of Western countries, primarily, the United States, Great Britain and the European Union aimed at dismantling the system of international security," he said.

Earlier, Tasmagambetov said the Crocus City Hall terrorist attack made it clear that the countries of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) need to work harder to devise new instruments to fight terrorism. Meanwhile, Afghanistan, the main center of instability, a source of cross-border challenges and threats in Central Asia, remains in the focus of the organization's attention, the official added.

New security strategy

The ministers are also expected to discuss Russian President Vladimir Putin’s earlier call for a broad discussion on bilateral and multilateral collective security guarantees in Eurasia.

The CSTO was established in 2002 based on the May 15, 1992, Collective Security Treaty. The organization currently brings together Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan. The Russian Foreign Ministry pointed out on May 15 that CSTO allies were ramping up efforts to combat international terrorism, extremism, drug trafficking, cross-border organized crime and illegal migration. The parties regularly practice ways to carry out anti-terrorism operations as part of joint drills.