BURABAY, KAZAKHSTAN (RFE/RL) — The leaders of the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) have signed 17 agreements, including a statement on combating international terrorism and an agreement on military cooperation through 2020.
The agreements were signed at a summit of CIS leaders – representing Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan – on October 16 in the Kazakh village of Burabay.
Armenia was represented at the summit by President Serzh Sarkisian. Representatives of Moldova, Turkmenistan, and Ukraine participated as observers.
At a press conference, Putin said closer military cooperation is necessary because the situation in Afghanistan — which borders Tajikistan and Uzbekistan — is “close to critical.”
“Terrorists of various stripes are gaining more and more influence and are not hiding their plans for further expansion,” he said. “One of their aims is to break through into the Central Asian region. It is important for us to be ready to react to such a scenario together.”
Putin said the border-security cooperation agreement “envisages the possibility of forming a grouping of border [guard services] and other agencies from Commonwealth countries to resolve crisis situations at the border.”
The agreement on military cooperation, he said, will furnish a “coordinated response” to that threat.
Putin also praised the CIS as a mechanism for members to address problems caused by “negative external actors,” such as “uncertainty in the global economy and rising political tensions.”
CIS leaders agreed that the next CIS summit will be held in Kyrgyzstan on September 16, 2016.