Posted: 30.11.2022 11:48:00

‘Through solidary and co-operation towards peace and security’

The President of Belarus took part in the session of the CSTO Collective Security Council. During the narrow-format talks, Aleksandr Lukashenko recalled the thesis that the unipolar world order is irrevocably a thing of the past.

“This process is provoking an unprecedented crisis in the system of international relations with many hotbeds of tension around the globe. A number of these hotbeds, unfortunately, are in the European and Eurasian space, including in the CSTO area of responsibility,” stated the Belarusian leader.

Photo by BELTA

The President of Belarus drew attention to the developments unfolding in Europe. According to him, the North Atlantic Alliance has made a final decision to pursue the anti-Russian and anti-Belarusian policy in the foreseeable future and has interrupted all contacts on its own initiative,
“Under the pretext of containing the allegedly aggressive Russia and its allies, the United States and other NATO countries have been systemically building up military presence near the western borders of the CSTO, i.e., near our borders. The West continues to deploy troops, weapons and military hardware to the eastern flank of NATO. The intensity of their operational and combat training activities is increasing.”
In this regard, the President called the recent decision to deploy a regional task force of Belarus and Russia a natural reaction to the existing challenges, “Countries that strive to follow their own path of development and pursue an independent foreign policy course come under severe pressure. International organisations, including the UN, are also trying to put them under their control. Spendings on weapons are growing at an unprecedented pace reaching terrible levels. NATO governments, instigated by Washington, are willingly spending billions on the supposedly growing threat from the East, while stimulating the U.S. military-industrial complex.”
The Head of State remarked that the possibility of using nuclear weapons is mentioned increasingly frequently these days, 
“Nuclear rhetoric of individual Western leaders is way over the top. The Polish leadership declares readiness to host nuclear weapons in the country. It is good that, credit where credit is due, Americans still have sensible people, who understand perfectly well the danger of nuclear games, particularly with unpredictable partners. We strongly believe that nuclear blackmail has no place in international politics!”
Aleksandr Lukashenko recalled the well-known saying that there will be no winners after a nuclear war, “The great physicist Albert Einstein said once: ‘I know not with what weapons World War 3 will be fought, but World War 4 will be fought with sticks and stones’.”
The President of Belarus spoke about the conflict in Ukraine in his speech, 
“Belarus has continuously and persistently warned about the dangerous escalation of the military and political situation in the European region. We pointed to the degradation of the international security system and devaluation of disarmament and arms control agreements. Unfortunately, they did not heed our warnings then. Now we see the tragic result of this arrogant position in Ukraine.”
The President recalled that since 2014, Belarus has been doing everything possible to end this conflict.
Speaking about existing challenges and threats, Aleksandr Lukashenko stated that a complicated situation is evolving in the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, too, “We’ve repeatedly said that attempts are being made to stir up trouble in societies inside our countries right along the perimeter of the Russian Federation. Ukraine flared up first. An attempt to destroy Belarus was made in 2020. Belarusians have gone through that. Kazakhstan had to go through that in January 2022 (it is good that Kazakhstan’s leadership managed to deal with this conflict). A conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. I will repeat: we would like the conflict between the two neighbouring countries that are friendly to us to be resolved peacefully.”
At the same time, Aleksandr Lukashenko asked an important question, “But in view of that I fail to understand why the European Union and the OSCE have to be involved in this conflict in addition to Russia, which acts as a mediator. Can someone explain it to me? Are they here in order to continue driving a wedge into relations between us, between allies? We know where this kind of ‘mediation’ can lead. This conflict will be simply frozen for many years once again at least. They don’t need stability and peace in our region but the devastation that they control.”
The President pointed out that the conflict situation at the Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan border is a similar one, “We are being played off against one another.”
After the meeting in a narrow circle, the leaders of the countries held a meeting in an expanded format, where Aleksandr
Lukashenko delivered an important keynote speech.
The President noted: Belarus is taking over the presidency over the Collective Security Treaty Organisation in a period of a systemic crisis of international relations. The unprecedented deterioration of the military and political situation on the Eurasian continent is obvious as well as further polarisation of approaches to the matter of the new world order.
“In emerging conditions we see the following fundamental goals of Belarus’ presidency. Domestically we have to improve the unity of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation member states. These are fundamental goals: to increase our unity, reduce the level of tensions, and address contradictions between them for the sake of strengthening the organisation itself, for the sake of ensuring security and stability in the organisation’s responsibility area… The targets in foreign policy are as follows: enhancing the role and the significance of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation in the system of international relations,” emphasised Aleksandr Lukashenko.

The President noted that Belarus’ presidency is expected to proceed under the ‘Through solidary and co-operation towards peace and security’ slogan. Several priority areas have been identified:
First. The resolution of crisis situations and the prevention of further destabilisation in the CSTO’s responsibility area should remain in the centre of our attention… All of us need peace! Nobody needs war!
Belarus’ presidency would undertake all the possible diplomatic efforts to deescalate tensions, reduce the conflict potential, and raise the level of mutual trust through joint actions of the CSTO members. It will allow securing the leading role of the organisation in matters concerning the enabling and enhancement of regional security in our responsibility area. Our joint efforts should have a positive impact on the situation in the CSTO’s responsibility area, including in Eastern Europe.
Second. Effective positioning of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation in the system of international relations by advancing co-operation with international organisations and third countries represents a key factor for our organisation’s inclusion in the most pressing problems on the international agenda. The organisation has to be at the forefront of international life and live up to the constantly changing challenges of regional and global security.
The expansion of partnership ties with global players such as China would contribute to the enhancement of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation’s standing in the international scene. Why not? With this in mind Belarus’ presidency intends to initiate a strategic dialogue between the Collective Security Treaty Organisation and the People’s Republic of China (we may think about India, too) by means of organising meetings in Belarus of representatives of the ministries of foreign affairs, defence, offices of the security councils of the CSTO member states and the corresponding countries like China, for example.
Third. The military component of the CSTO is an inalienable component of the organisation. As for priority tasks in this field, we believe it is necessary to increase the readiness of components of the CSTO forces to carry out their missions and to step up military technology co-operation of the member states… A number of joint exercises involving command and control bodies and forces and assets of the CSTO collective security system will be planned and carried out in Belarus’ territory in 2023.
Belarus’ presidency intends to pay close attention to stepping up efforts to work out common approaches in the area of standardisation and inventorying of defence products and the promotion of manufacturing co-operation for making defence products.
Fourth. This is why we are going to focus on building up the institutional potential of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation in the sphere of information and analysis… The formation of a network of national analytical institutes for strategic studies in the member states will be a concrete practical contribution to the accomplishment of this task. It will allow uniting the scientific and expert potential of our countries in the name of ensuring peace and security. We see it as an important tool for preparing conceptual and strategic documents on topical matters of international and regional security in our organisation.
The Belarusian side proposes to hold a meeting of the heads of national analytical institutes for strategic studies of the CSTO member states in Minsk in 2023 to organise systematic work in this direction.
After the CSTO summit, the President of Belarus talked to Russian journalists on the sidelines of the summit and answered a number of questions related to ensuring security, including in connection with the conflict in Ukraine.

Based on materials of and