среда, 4 февраля 2009 г.

Post-Soviet security bloc agrees to set up rapid response force

MOSCOW, February 4 (RIA Novosti) - A post-Soviet regional security bloc has agreed to create a collective rapid reaction force, the Armenian president said on Wednesday.

The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) is a security grouping comprising the former Soviet republics of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

Serzh Sargsyan said the agreement had been signed by all CSTO member states, whose leaders met in the Kremlin, although Uzbekistan had recorded "a special opinion."

"Uzbekistan cannot accept the provision whereby all special services, including emergency services, are to be part of the collective force," CSTO press secretary Vitaly Strugovets said.

The force will be used to repulse military aggression, conduct anti-terrorist operations, fight transnational crime and drug trafficking, and neutralize the effects of natural disasters.

The force will be permanently based in Russia and placed under a single command with CSTO member countries contributing special military units.

A source in the Russian delegation said Uzbekistan would not participate in the collective force on a permanent basis but would "delegate" its subunits to take part in operations on an ad hoc basis.

Sargsyan also said the CSTO Security Council would next meet in Moscow in June.

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