CSTO asks US to renew arms reduction treaty with Russia

 Members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) military alliance called on the U.S. Thursday to renew the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) with Russia.

In a joint statement issued in Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishkek following a meeting, the heads of the six CSTO member states of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan said they were “concerned over the worsening international security situation and weakening of the legal mechanisms for its maintenance.”

“We regret the termination of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and are deeply concerned about the future of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, which expires in February 2021. In this regard, we hope for the extension of this fundamentally important treaty,” the statement said.

The leaders also agreed to strengthen their defense potential. In this regard, Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested to his counterparts that a five-year plan of military cooperation be established.

The CSTO leaders also urged the world to return to diplomacy in resolving disagreements and to develop an international legal basis for facilitating conflict settlement.

In this regard, the CSTO established two new types of membership — observer and partner — to increase its openness.

Afghanistan and Serbia have already become observers.
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