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Lukashenko: Complicated period ahead of CSTO

MOSCOW, 19 December (BelTA) – The Collective Security Treaty Organization will have to live through a complicated period, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko told the session of the CSTO Collective Security Council in Moscow on 19 December.

“There is no doubt that the forthcoming period will be anything but simple,” said the Belarusian head of state.

“Unfortunately, we have to state that the conflict potential in international relations is still on the rise. It rises on the back of several objective factors like the escalation of violence in the Middle East, the deterioration of interstate contradictions in the energy sphere. Apart from that, the current system of international security is distorted by the eagerness of individual countries to play the leading role while disregarding interests of others,” remarked the Belarus President.

In his words, the practice of putting economic and political pressure on sovereign nations thrives as a result. Alexander Lukashenko believes that the degradation of the existing system of control over conventional weapons in Europe plays its part, too, giving hints of a new arms race.

The Belarus President pointed out that the protection against threats originating from Afghanistan is a particularly sensitive issue for the Collective Security Treaty Organization. “Thus, the CSTO mission of ensuring national collective security and coordinating foreign policy views on international regional matters has never been more important,” the Belarusian head of state said. “All in all, we are satisfied with the performance of these interaction mechanisms,” he said. Alexander Lukashenko added that collective guidelines have to be adapted to modern threats and challenges. Alexander Lukashenko remarked that between the sessions work had been done with assistance of the Russian Federation and Belarus had submitted proposals to update the guidelines. “Despite different foreign policy intentions of our countries regarding individual issues we have managed to determine the areas of joint actions to render mutual assistance,” said the Belarusian leader.

“The evolution of the Collective Security Treaty Organization envisages enabling security and safety not only in the organization’s responsibility area but along its perimeter, too,” said Alexander Lukashenko. He reminded that during the Belarusian presidency in the CSTO the initiative to create the partnership institution was meant to expand the influence of the organization along its border. The President pointed out that the factor of the year 2014 when a large part of the coalition troops withdraws from Afghanistan had been taken into account. Alexander Lukashenko remarked that at the private conference all the heads of state had spoken in this manner. “I am convinced the idea is still topical particularly in view of Mongolia’s efforts to get integrated into the existing structure of European security. The country has joined the OSCE recently. Mongolia may be interested in establishing cooperation with the CSTO in the spheres both the sides are interested in,” believes the Belarusian head of state.