By Vladimir Khromov
Mr. Lukashenko explained, “We are moving along the correct path. I’ve arrived from a remote and rather inaccessible region of South-East Asia and, while holding talks and meeting state officials, I noticed that all proudly spoke of their unions: trade and trade-economic. Where joint interests exist, political unions naturally follow, to ensure the defence of interests, including through military approaches. Nations around the globe are uniting in similar organisations — not simply in South-East Asia. Visiting the Persian Gulf, meeting local officials, I kept hearing the same view: the Gulf States are agreeing to share a common customs space and single economic policy, now being elaborated. Their example of collective defence was evident in Bahrain, where Saudi Arabia and other countries stepped in to help with a situation of disorder. We need not be ashamed of admitting that we share a military organisation; we’ll continue strengthening it in all possible ways. I think our planned informal meeting in Kyrgyzstan should be held under this slogan.”
Mr. Bordyuzha reported to the President on the progress of CSTO decisions adopted in December 2012 and on the work of the organisation’s constituent bodies. “We’re now realising decisions taken by our presidents last December, including the reform of military co-operation to attain a new level.”
Mr. Bordyuzha recalled the decision to establish Collective Rapid Reaction Forces which would unite various CSTO military structures. “We’ve completed preparations to establish Collective Air Forces — as an additional component of the CSTO; this will enable us to ensure aviation screening for possible operations while being able to redeploy certain forces of the organisation (to solve security related tasks). At present, we’re working on the possible establishment of Special Operation Collective Forces,” added Mr. Bordyuzha. He gave the President a report on preparations for the next CSTO informal summit, being hosted by Kyrgyzstan in May. They then debated issues for presidential discussion and shared opinions on the development of the situation within the CSTO space.