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Beginning of informal meeting of CSTO heads of state

August 20, 2010, Yerevan

President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan: Colleagues, friends,

First of all, I would like to sincerely welcome you to Yerevan at this informal summit of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation. I want to especially welcome Ms Otunbayeva [President of Kyrgyzstan Roza Otunbayeva], who is participating in a  CSTO meeting for the first time.

Informal CSTO summits have turned out to be quite useful. By discussing a variety of issues, which are generally not limited to a specific agenda, we are achieving some pretty good results. Remember that just a year and a half ago, in Borovoye, the idea of creating the Collective Rapid Reaction Force was first proposed; today, the force is formed and ready to carry out the tasks on a collective basis. The first drills have been conducted, and we are getting ready for subsequent exercises. I am certain that today, we can also exchange views on the most urgent issues for CSTO member states: issues of further increasing the CSTO’s potential in its work aimed at assuring peace, stability, and security within our Organisation’s area of responsibility.

In this regard, I would like to express my hopes that our work will be fruitful and to pass the floor to the Collective Security Council Chairman, President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev.

Mr Medvedev, if you please.

President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Thank you.

Mr President, thank you for your invitation. Colleagues, I think that I will express the overall views of everyone present here by thanking Mr Sargsyan for his hospitality. This is the second informal meeting of CSTO heads of state this year, and the first (though, I hope, not the last) in Armenia. It would be wonderful if you invite us again.

Serzh Sargsyan: I will do so with pleasure.

Dmitry Medvedev: Following tradition, in spite of its informal nature and varied schedule, this summit is very practical in content. This working format has already proved its effectiveness. In any case, what was done in Borovoye evolved into some very important decisions. That is the practical measure of our work, and I hope that this summit in Yerevan will also yield similar benefits.

Today’s agenda includes two main issues for our informal consultations: the CSTO’s current and planned measures to help stabilise the situation in Kyrgyzstan, and the formation of an effective crisis response system within the framework of the CSTO – indeed, this is what we discussed a few months ago in Moscow when we gathered to discuss the situation.

In addition, we need to discuss the date for holding another, formal session of the Collective Security Council in Moscow, and perhaps discuss some procedural issues, if we have any. We are not going to pass any formal documents, but in any case, that is not something we’ve been doing at meetings like this one.

In addition, one of our colleagues is absent today, so we will certainly exchange ideas, and then I would like to ask Mr Bordyuzha [Nikolai Bordyuzha, CSTO Secretary General] to brief Mr Karimov [President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov] on the ideas and suggestions brought up at the summit in Yerevan.

As for the speaking order, we have certain rules. We speak in alphabetical order, following the Russian alphabet, on both issues. But today, I would like to suggest that we make an exception. Given that we will begin by discussing Kyrgyzstan, I would like to suggest that after Mr Bordyuzha, we give the floor to Ms Otunbayeva, so that she can brief us on the current situation.

If there are no objections, let us begin our work.

August 20, 2010, Yerevan