MOSCOW, 14 January (BelTA) – The CSTO showed its worth as it responded to the events in Kazakhstan, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a press conference for Russian and foreign journalists in Moscow on 14 January, BelTA has learned.
“The president of Kazakhstan requested help from the country’s allies in full compliance with the Collective Security Treaty, the CSTO Charter. The situation in Kazakhstan demonstrated that the CSTO’s recent efforts to develop its peacekeeping capabilities have been very, very effective,” Sergey Lavrov said. “They came in very handy. You know, as they say: if you want peace, prepare for war. Well, thank God, it didn’t come to war.”
“The whole world, in my opinion, has seen that the CSTO has efficient peacekeeping capabilities,” the Russian foreign minister emphasized. “The West was amazed at the speed of deployment of the CSTO units that were sent by all member states to help the ally Kazakhstan at the request of its president. I am sure that this speed was acknowledged by everyone in the world.”
When asked if the Kazakhstan precedent means that the CSTO peacekeeping forces will be used more often, Sergey Lavrov said: “I very much hope that we will not have to resort to such actions again, but, as the Russian saying goes, we must keep our powder dry. I hope nothing of the kind will happen again. We are doing everything to prevent such developments, including through the relevant CSTO structures. We of course must stay prepared, because attempts from outside to undermine the situation in Central Asia and other CSTO countries do not stop. These attempts, by the way, have become more persistent, risky and dangerous after the United States together with the NATO countries fled Afghanistan.
The Russian foreign minister said that combating dormant terrorist cells is the job of special services. “We have such services. In the CSTO they function under the aegis of security councils. Any developments will now be taken even more seriously and this kind of work will be much more relevant,” he said.