Moscow urges military allies CSTO to support Syria settlement

Moscow urges military allies CSTO to support Syria settlement
Sergey Lavrov has told a conference of CSTO Foreign Ministers that the failure to solve the Syrian crisis would have negative consequences not only for security situation in the region, but for the whole system of international law.

The Russian Foreign Minister was speaking at the opening of the session of Collective Security Treaty Organization – the Russia-led bloc uniting six neighboring countries: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Russia.

In 2014 the rotating presidency of the bloc will be taken by Russia, and because of that Lavrov briefed his colleagues on current priority issues in international relations.

We are concerned with the situation in Syria and not only because of possible negative consequences to the region as a whole, but also because of the negative consequences to the whole system of international law. You know about the necessity to quickly solve the problem of starting the dialogue, and about the chemical weapons issue. I think, today we can support the international community’s efforts on Syria,” Sergey Lavrov said in his opening speech. 

On September 14 the Russian Foreign Minister together with the US State Secretary John Kerry coordinated a plan to secure Syrian chemical weapons by mid-2014, following a suggestion from Russian President Vladimir Putin. However, the differences between Russia and US still remain – Moscow insists that any discrepancies and disputes are solved through consultation with the UN Security Council, while the United States suggests that any suspected violations are dealt with by military force.

In addition, the Russian minister again warned his colleagues about possible aggravation of the military-political situation in the Central Asian region in connection with the planned withdrawal of coalition forces from Afghanistan.

Afghanistan has observer status with the CSTO and member Tajikistan borders this country.

The participants of the session then went on to discuss the plan of military cooperation between the CSTO nations up to 2020 as well as deployment of peacekeeping forces from the bloc and forming a collective security system. 

The session continued with a summit of CSTO leaders hosted by President Vladimir Putin. The summit participants also concentrated on common efforts to strengthen the Afghani-Tajik border,  and talked about the situation in Syria, Russian President’s aide Yuri Ushakov told the press as the meeting started.

When the summit was over President Putin said that all CSTO leaders expected a worsening situation with drug trafficking, terrorism and political extremism after US-led coalition forces leave Afghanistan in 2014. The Russian leader promised the allies will work to prevent the emerging threats and would not be caught unprepared.

Putin also said that the Syrian crisis brought similar challenges to the Central Asian nations and other CSTO members as “bandit formations that act in this country have not come from nowhere and will not go to nowhere.” “The problem of terrorism overflow from one country into another is very real and can directly affect the interests of any of our nations,” the Russian President said. He also pointed out that the terrorist attack in Kenya can be seen as a typical example of such developments, as there are signs that the Nairobi terrorists arrived in Kenya from other countries.

Putin then urged the CSTO leaders to think about how to prevent and cut short the international threats against their countries.