DUSHANBE — Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan attended a meeting of the CSTO Collective Security Council in Dushanbe, Tajikistan on Thursday that discussed the CSTO priorities, as well as issues related to security in the CSTO zone of responsibility, further development of the CSTO, and the situation in Afghanistan. Russian President Vladimir Putin participated in the meeting remotely due to Covid restriction.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Armenia assumed the chairmanship of the Collective Security Treaty Organization. Accordingly the next meeting will be held in Yerevan in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Addressing the summit, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said the Armenian side would like partners to focus on consistent joint work aimed at the dynamic development of the organization and increase of the effectiveness of its mechanisms.

“In our opinion, it is necessary to continue working on deepening foreign policy coordination and mutual assistance to develop coordinated approaches to international and regional issues affecting the interests of the CSTO member states. To this end, we attach great importance to the holding of regular multi-level consultations, including in the “high-level group,” of which the Deputy Foreign and Defense Ministers are members. In our opinion, the practice of adopting joint statements has justified itself, and it must continue,” PM Pashinyan stated.

“The logic of development of the situation in different regions of collective security has clearly shown the need to modernize crisis response mechanisms. The need for crisis monitoring, forecasting and prevention mechanisms is obvious. In practice, all this will take place, including through the full operation of the Crisis Response Center,” he added.

The Prime Minister noted that Armenia intends to work closely 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 technologies, including drone, equipped with modern means,” Pashinyan said, attaching importance to improving the management of all this.

“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,” Pashinyan continued.

He added that the Armenian side proposes to take steps to strengthen CSTO’s authority in the international arena, including through expansion of cooperation with other interested international organizations. In this regard he attached importance to making maximum use of and developing the experience of joint work with the US, OSCE and other organizations.

“During the Armenian presidency, we intend to resume the practice of holding security conferences in Yerevan, taking into account the already established dialogue with the CSTO, OSCE and UN bodies. We have already heard a matching approach from our Kazakh friends, we are ready to work closely together,” Nikol Pashinyan said.

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