Plenipotentiaries of countries-members of CSTO for the first time spoke at CSTO Academy

25 June 2015

On June 25, the 4th CSTO Academy was opened in Moscow. Students, journalists, young scientists and distinguished experts fr om Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Serbia and Georgia gathered together at CSTO Secretariat and were joined by the Gorchakov Fund, CSTO Analytical Association and CSTO Institute, which held this traditional scientific and educational program.


The event was opened by Deputy Secretary General of Collective Security Treaty Organization Valery Semerikov. He said many kind words addressed to the Gorchakov Fund. According to him, deployment of the Fund’s and CSTO’s potential noticeably activates work in the field of public diplomacy.


Guests of Moscow were introduced to different areas of CSTO’s work. It was stressed that its priority was in political cooperation. Heads of all the states-members of the organization pay special attention to this cooperation.


The program “CSTO Academy” was launched only 30 months ago – in November of 2012. During this period of time numerous challenges and threats have emerged for the CSTO members. Activities of the so-called ISIS are a subject of special concern. A large number of immigrants from the former Soviet republics are part of this entity, which is recognized as a terrorist organization in Russia. When coming back home, these insurgents can significantly destabilize the situation in the area of CSTO’s responsibility. However, the organization is absolutely able to hinder the path to migration of citizens of our countries to the Near East.


For the first time in the history of the program plenipotentiaries of the countries-members of CSTO spoke to the participants of the program – Victor Vasilyev (Russia) and David Virabyan (Armenia). The speakers introduced the audience to different areas of their work in the organization and talked about specifics of participation of certain countries. They stressed that an idea about CSTO as a counterpart to NATO on the post-Soviet space is erroneous as a principle position of our states is cooperation in the name of common security and not friendship against somebody. Besides, CSTO solves a much wider spectrum of goals than NATO.


The experts mentioned in their presentations that CSTO, unlike NATO, does not strive for achieving unanimity, but interests of the members of Collective Security Treaty Organization coincide on a wide range of issues. Besides political coordination in the field of collective security, the countries-members of CSTO act proceeding from common positions regarding the issues wh ere no disagreements exist, but, on the contrary, unanimity of opinions is present. This refers to, for example, opposition to glorification of Nazism and reevaluation of the results of II World War. Providing security of journalists in zones of military conflicts is another burning issue for our countries.


The issue of cooperation between CSTO and other international organizations is also important. Evidently, stewing in one’s own juice and dealing exclusively with regional issues is not beneficial.


There is a number of difficulties in the area of cooperation with organizations of those states of the post-Soviet space, which are not CSTO members. Many complicated issues are present in these relations, which have to be solved in collaboration. When going back to new challenges and threats, unexpected topics for discussion were suggested in the course of the dispute. For instance, can CSTO’s peacemakers be used to separate conflicting parties in Ukraine? It was mentioned at the meeting that CSTO has many plans for expansion. Thus, in October CSTO youth school is planned to be held in Serbia. Cooperation with CSTO University League will also be increased. Interaction with Iran and China is planned to be developed.

A comment was made regarding significant potential for international activities in the regions of Russia. Our “soft power” has large hidden reserves there.