Russia suggests post-Soviet security bloc boost biosecurity cooperation — Lavrov

Russia suggests post-Soviet security bloc boost biosecurity cooperation — Lavrov

Speaking at a meeting of the CSTO Council of Foreign Ministers via a video link-up, Lavrov stressed that the coronavirus infection is a serious test for the entire system of international relations and a challenge for every state.

Russia has offered the countries of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a post-Soviet security bloc, to consider priority measures on fostering biosecurity cooperation, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a meeting of the CSTO Council of Foreign Ministers via a video link-up, Lavrov stressed that the coronavirus infection is a serious test for the entire system of international relations and a challenge for every state and inter-state structures.

"Today we have to carefully analyze what conclusions need to be drawn in relation to our organization’s activities. It is clear that there is a demand to tap the CSTO’s potential for responding to such threats in the interests of ensuring the health and well-being of citizens of our countries. Therefore, we offered today to consider priority measures for developing cooperation in biosecurity area," Lavrov said, opening the meeting.

The CSTO’s ministerial meeting is held in the format of a video conference for the first time ever, he noted. "Certainly, this format cannot replace live communication, but it certainly will not prevent us from working today as always in a friendly manner and effectively," Lavrov said.

Fighting terror
According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, cooperating with the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) would bolster the effectiveness of the war on terror, the top diplomat stressed in his opening remarks at an online conference of the CSTO Council of Foreign Ministers on Tuesday.

"It would be useful to synchronize the CSTO’s anti-terrorism programs with the respective projects of the CIS and SCO, to ensure the maximum consolidation of the organizations’ potentials on that track. We are planning to discuss this issue today," the top diplomat disclosed.

The CSTO must keep concentrating on identifying foreign terrorists, specifically natives of CIS member countries. "The creation of a reliable barrier would be facilitated by completing the effort on drawing up a single list of organizations that CSTO countries deem as terrorist," he pointed out.

Lavrov also threw the spotlight on the threat of illegal drug trafficking, first of all involving Afghan-produced drugs, whose profits are used to bankroll terrorist activity. The foreign minister reiterated the important role of the CSTO’s Channel anti-drug operation in the battle against illegal drug trafficking. "We want Channel to continue expanding geographically and attract new participants. This year, we will sum up the results of enacting the CSTO’s antidrug program for 2015-2020," the Russian chief diplomat concluded.

Participation in United Nations peacekeeping missions

The foreign ministers of Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) countries are working to create a legal basis for the organization’s participation in United Nations peacekeeping missions, Russian top diplomat Sergey Lavrov informed.

"We believe that it is important for the CSTO to maintain dialogue on the entire range of security issues in the Euro-Atlantic region in order to coordinate approaches," he pointed out. "Efforts to boost the CSTO’s peacekeeping capacity require special attention, so today, we will continue to discuss ways to handle practical matters and improve the legal framework. I am sure that it will allow CSTO units to participate in United Nations peacekeeping operations," Lavrov added.

The CSTO is a post-Soviet security bloc consisting of six member-states — Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan. Afghanistan and Serbia are observer states.

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