Russian FM calls for strengthening role of CSTO
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) should take further measures to strengthen its role, particularly in peacekeeping in the region and beyond, reports reaching here from Yerevan said, Xinhua reported.
In an interview with Armenian Public Television on the eve of a CSTO informal summit scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Lavrov said the CSTO, in order to give fuller play to its peacekeeping potential, has decided to set up a peacekeeping force within the framework of the CSTO.
The force is expected to participate in peacekeeping missions not only within the framework of the CSTO, but also in those organized by international organizations, such as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the United Nations, Lavrov said.
After the April riots in Kyrgyzstan, what kind of role the CSTO should play in similar events was questioned.
In response, Lavrov cautioned against oversimplifying the issue, saying it is a matter concerning the principle of mutual non-interference in internal affairs under the CSTO charter, Lavrov said.
Lavrov said the main purpose of the CSTO was to protect its members from external aggression and threats posed by international terrorism, drug trafficking and organized crime.
The CSTO, which evolved from the Collective Security Treaty signed in 1992, comprises seven members -- Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.