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The potential of CSTO collective forces needs to be modernized, supplemented with unmanned formations: The Prime Minister takes part in the sitting of the CSTO Collective Security Council in Dushanbe


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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan attended a meeting of the CSTO Collective Security Council in Dushanbe, which was attended by President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Toka, President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Japarov, Secretary General of the CSTO Stanislav Zas. Russian President Vladimir Putin participated in the meeting remotely.

The CSTO leaders discussed the issues on the agenda in a narrow-format session, during Prime Minister Pashinyan referred to the developments in the South Caucasus region. Nikol Pashinyan particularly said, ‘’ Honorable Heads of State, during the intersessional period, along the perimeter of the CSTO collective responsibility zone, we are recording new manifestations of direct and indirect challenges and threats. Today, our region is at the threashold of very important transformations.

In case of manifestation of political will and prudence, they can change the current picture and lead to the formation of conditions for true peace in the region. Our Government set a goal in its Action Plan to open a new era of peacefull development for our country and the region. And we, winning the early parliamentary elections in June this year, received a mandate to achieve this fundamental goal.

How do we see the achievement of that goal? Through dialogue, through gradual overcoming of the hostile atmosphere, which unfortunately exists in our region, and through opening of all the regional economic and transport communications. In this context, it’s very important to implement the agreements enshrined in the trilateral statements signed by the President of the Russian Federation, President of Azerbaijan and Prime Minister of Armenia on November 9, 2020 and January 11, 2021.

Honorable Heads of State,

I would like to draw your attention to a very important nuance. For the solution of economic and political issues, the atmosphere in which they are discussed is very important. Unfortunately, I have to inform that Azerbaijan has not yet returned all Armenian prisoners of war, captives or other detainees, despite the 8th point of the November 9, 2020 trilateral declaration, despite the efforts of our partners, including the Russian Federation and President Putin. This purely humanitarian issue must be resolved without delay. I expect your support in this matter."

Afterwards, in the expanded-format session the CSTO priorities were presented and the adopted documents were signed. The CSTO leaders discussed issues related to ensuring security in the CSTO zone of responsibility, further development of the CSTO, and the situation in Afghanistan.

In his speech, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan first thanked the President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon for the traditional warm reception and for the work done by Tajikistan during its chairmanship in the CSTO.

‘’Dear colleagues,

The chairmanship in the CSTO is transferred to Armenia, in connection with which the Armenian side would like to offer the partners to focus on joint and consistent work aimed at the dynamic development of the organization and the raising of the effectiveness of the mechanisms.

In our opinion, it is necessary to continue working on deepening foreign policy coordination and mutual assistance for developing coordinated approaches to international and regional issues affecting the interests of the CSTO member states. For this purpose we give a major importance to the regular holding of multi-level consultations, including in the format of a high-level group, comprised of the deputy foreign and defense ministers. We believe that the practice of adopting joint statements has justified itself, and it should be expanded.

The development of the situation in different regions of the Collective Security has clearly shown the need to modernize crisis response mechanisms. The need for crisis situation monitoring, forecasting and prevention mechanisms is obvious. In practice, all this will be developed, including through the full operation of the Crisis Response Center.

Armenia intends to closely collaborate with the CSTO member states to increase the level of combat effectiveness, combat readiness, harmony and mobility of the CSTO forces. There is no doubt that the potential of the CSTO Collective Forces needs to be modernized, developed, supplemented with modern, including unmanned formations, equip them with modern means and improve their management.

It will be of great importance for our organization to further improve the measures and mechanisms for combating terrorism, extremism, ensuring information security, fighting against drugs, illegal migration, and human trafficking.

We also propose to take steps to strengthen the CSTO's reputation in the international arena, including by expanding cooperation with other interested international organizations. In this sense it’s important to maximally use and develop the existing joint working experience with the UN, OSCE and other organizations.

In our opinion, we can count on the support of our parliamentarians in solving such issues.
During the Armenian chairmanship, we intend to resume the practice of holding security conferences in Yerevan, including by taking into account the already established dialogue with the CSTO, OSCE and UN working bodies. We have already heard a harmonious position from our Kazakh friends, we are ready to work closely together.
We suggest continuing the development of normative-organizational documents, which will allow to have a legal base corresponding to today's realities.

I expect your assistance in establishing work with the younger generation by conducting summer schools on security issues for the students from CSTO member states in Armenia.
Dear Colleagues,

Our priorities will be reflected in more detail, with a list of concrete measures and events, in the traditionally approved program of the priorities of the chairmanship and the decisions of the meetings of the Collective Security Council.

Next year we will together mark the 30th anniversary of the Collective Security Treaty and the 20th
anniversary of the Collective Security Treaty Organization. A detailed plan has been agreed, providing for the implementation of relevant activities in all CSTO member countries.

We are waiting for the leaders of the member states of the Organization in Yerevan.

Summing up, I would like to once again congratulate our Tajik friends on the successful completion of the CSTO chairmanship.

Thank you for attention’’.

Based on the results of today's sitting, the chairmanship in the CSTO was transferred to the Republic of Armenia. A decision was made to hold the next meeting of the CSTO Security Council in Yerevan in the fourth quarter of 2022. It was also decided to hold large-scale CSTO military drills in Tajikistan in the near future with the participation of various units of the Armed Forces of the CSTO member states.

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