Tuesday, May 15, 2012 -
Leaders of two Kremlin-led organizations held back-to-back summits in Moscow on Tuesday.
The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) was the first to kick off in the Russian capital.
The summit was called to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its formation and 20 years since the treaty was signed.
The UN-recognized CSTO is a military-political bloc comprising Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Armenia.
Uzbek President Islam Karimov, who stayed away from many previous CSTO meetings, was due to participate in this one, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported.
Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted both the CSTO summit and the following CIS leader’s informal meeting.
“We share a common approach toward the questions of international and regional safety,” the Moscow Times news agency reported Putin as saying in his opening remarks.
“I am sure that the role of the Collective Security Treaty Organization will increase.”
The CIS event would have a loose agenda, although “much attention will be given to the deepening of economic integration of the commonwealth space,” RFE/RL cited the Kremlin press service as saying.
The CIS is an informal association of 11 countries formed shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union, consisting of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
Turkmenistan is chairman of the CIS this year.