MOSCOW, 21 January (BelTA) – Stanislav Zas, Secretary General of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), met with Russia's Acting Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Acting Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in Moscow on 20 January, BelTA learned from the CSTO Spokesman Vladimir Zainetdinov.
The meeting with Sergey Lavrov focused on topical areas of the CSTO's work, including in the context of Russia's chairmanship in the organization and preparations for the forthcoming sessions of its charter bodies. “Top on the agenda was the action plan to implement the decisions of the Collective Security Council of the CSTO put forward by Russia for its 2020 presidency in the organization. The parties also reviewed progress in implementing the decisions of the CSTO Collective Security Council to establish partnership and observation institutions under the auspices of the CSTO, efforts to build up contacts between the CSTO Secretariat and international organizations and their structures, as well as a possibility to use CSTO peacekeeping forces in peacekeeping operations of the United Nations,” the spokesman said.
Another important matter of the discussion was the forthcoming 75th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War and the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations Organization. The parties reaffirmed their commitment to the principles and goals of the UN Charter. Stanislav Zas noted that the CSTO is going to hold a series of events timed to the 75th anniversary of the Victory. “We need to defend the truth about the Victory, frustrate all these falsification attempts. This is the main goal of our work, after all, we have such a great reason to do it – the 75th anniversary of the Victory,” the CSTO secretary general said.
Sergey Lavrov emphasized that during its presidency in the CSTO Russia will invest a lot of efforts in preserving the memory and fighting falsification of the history of the Second World War. He assured that Russia will provide support to the CSTO secretary general in implementing the 2020 priorities put forward by Russian President Vladimir Putin at the session of the CSTO Collective Security Council in Bishkek on 28 November 2019. “We are convinced that your extensive political experience in all the previous roles, including the Security Council of Belarus, will help you greatly in your work. On our part, we pledge support to you and the CSTO Secretariat in fulfilling the decisions taken by the heads of the CSTO participating states,” Sergey Lavrov said.
At the meeting with Sergei Shoigu, the CSTO chief spoke about plans to build capacity of the coalition. “The year of 2020 is the year of Russia's presidency in the CSTO. The priorities for this year have already been drafted. We have already finalized the plan of action to fulfill these priorities. This plan is rather extensive, it is grouped into eight parts. By the way, four out of eight parts deal with the military field. The work has already been arranged,” the CSTO secretary general informed.
Sergei Shoigu stated that since the CSTO was founded, a lot has been done to improve its defense capacity: an emergency response system was set up; CSTO collective forces were established; joint events in operative and combat training are held regularly. At the same time, he noted that the military and political situation in the region and the world remains difficult. “There is a high probability of crises, therefore we need to keep working to improve our military dimension and its ability to respond effectively to crises. Expanding ties in the CSTO remains one of unchanging priorities for Russia,” Sergei Shoigu added.