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CSTO should expand ties with OSCE, NATO, Lukashenko says

MOSCOW, 19 December (BelTA) – The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) should expand cooperation with international organizations, including the OSCE and NATO, President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said at the session of the CSTO Collective Security Council in Moscow on 19 December, BelTA has learnt.

The Belarusian head of state believes that the CSTO is well-positioned to strengthen ties with international organizations. First, the CSTO should intensify collaboration with the OSCE in the areas where the both organizations have amassed extensive experience.

The Belarusian President emphasized the need to foster cooperation in order to participate in peacekeeping operations of the United Nations. “It is the most relevant niche, however, we are at the very beginning of our way here,” the Belarusian leader underlined. He believes that the CSTO should join at least one UN mission. In his view, it will help promote cooperation and provide valuable experience in holding peacekeeping operations.

NATO is another organization with which the CSTO should step up cooperation. “Although NATO seems to ignore our organization, there are opportunities to engage in a dialogue. Everybody knows that despite the outward unfriendliness, experts and analysts of the alliance are closely watching our organization, its exercises and other activities,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

“Instead of repeated calls for collaboration, we should demonstrate in practice that there is no alternative other than direct and practical cooperation with the CSTO,” the Belarusian head of state said.

“There should not be competition and redundancy of efforts to maintain security in the Eurasian region,” the President of Belarus said.