By Ignaty Averianov
The sitting was chaired by Belarus’ Defence Minister, Lieutenant General Yuri Zhadobin, with the participation of CSTO General Secretary Nikolai Bordyuzha. The realisation of decisions adopted at the CSTO session last December was high on the agenda.
The participants discussed the CSTO’s areas of responsibility, placing special emphasis on Belarus’ initiatives. In particular, the parties discussed how best to provide the Collective Rapid Response Forces with the latest weaponry and equipment. “We hope a relevant programme will be launched soon,” stressed Mr. Zhadobin. “Unified response to emerging challenges and threats, with simultaneous use of available potential (military and political), will help us to preserve the CSTO’s ability to guarantee security for its member states.”
Mr. Bordyuzha explained that member states met this May for a joint business game. It helped form a plan of action to prevent and resolve hostilities within the CSTO’s area of responsibility. He believes it revealed not only strengths but weaknesses. Mr. Bordyuzha asserts that, this year, all efforts are focused on training of CSTO forces for various crisis situations. The organisation is also considering liaising with the UN in peacekeeping operations.
Taking part in the CSTO Defence Ministers Council session were the heads and deputy heads of the defence ministries of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.