CSTO talks tough on NATO
The harsh statement was released by President Dmitry Medvedev and his counterparts from Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in Moscow on Tuesday.
The leaders made specific mention of the missile defense system that the United States is currently constructing in Eastern Europe, just miles from the Russian border.
"The unilateral deployment of strategic missile defense systems by one state or a group of states without due account for the lawful interests of other countries and without extending legally-binding guarantees to the latter may damage international security and strategic stability in Europe and the world as a whole," the statement by the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) read.
Moscow has repeatedly warned the US and NATO that the missile defense system, without Russia’s participation in the expansive project that promises to expand technologically and spatially by 2018, will be viewed as a direct security threat.
CSTO, a security alliance that was signed into force in May 1992, made a thinly veiled comment regarding NATO's military operation in Libya when it mentioned the "increasing tendency for military intervention" in countries that are experiencing domestic crises.
"Since the [collective security] Agreement was signed, international relations have been increasingly characterized by a rise in tensions. Serious concern is being caused by the…tendency for military intervention in critical situations," the CSTO said on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Collective Security Agreement and the tenth anniversary of the CSTO.
The leaders agreed that internal problems inside of sovereign states are giving particular countries a green light to break international law and exert military pressure.
"We are alarmed by the attempts to bypass the commonly recognized principles of international law by taking advantage of the temporary difficulties of certain countries and peoples," the document said.
The security alliance then gave special attention to Afghanistan, where NATO has been engaged in a bruising battle against Taliban forces for the past decade.
Of particular concern is “the deteriorating situation in the Afghanistan, which borders with the Organization's responsibility zone,” it said. "We believe that achieving peace and stability in Afghanistan is one of the main factors of ensuring regional and international security. We are calling for building Afghanistan as a peaceful, prosperous, independent and neutral state."
Finally, the leaders of the CSTO agreed that the deployment of foreign bases in their territory is only possible with the consent of all CSTO partners.
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said "an accord has been reached to coordinate the deployment, in the territory of the CSTO states, of military infrastructure facilities belonging to non-CSTO states."
"In order to deploy military bases of a third country in the territory of the CSTO member-states, it is necessary to obtain the official consent of all its members," said Nazarbayev, who took over the rotating presidency of the Organization from Belarus.
President Medvedev said the decision on the deployment of military bases of third countries in the territory of the CSTO member states only with the consent of CSTO partners was an important measure for consolidating the Organization.
"Reaching these accords is very important for consolidating the position within the CSTO," the Russian leader said.
I believe it is very important that all the parties have reached consensus, Medvedev added.