Putin: ‘Nazis are not glorified anywhere at the state level. But, unfortunately, this is happening in Ukraine’

The Moscow Kremlin has hosted a meeting of the leaders of the member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the signing of the treaty itself and the 20th anniversary of the creation of the organisation. It was attended by Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Zhaparov, President of Russia Vladimir Putin, and President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, as well as CSTO Secretary General Stanislav Zas. One of the main topics was the situation in Ukraine. Read the main points in the material of Realnoe Vremya.

Problems in areas of responsibility

At the beginning of the meeting, President Vladimir Putin congratulated his colleagues on the anniversary dates. Putin stressed that the association plays a stabilising role in the post-Soviet space and expressed hope for its further development.

President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko spoke about the situation in Ukraine and the special military operation.

“Ukraine was incited, stuffing it with nationalism, Nazism... fascism and Russophobia, weapons. After the elections in Belarus in August 2020, Ukraine completely fell under the West in terms of interaction with us. Over the past two years, we have constantly felt unfriendly actions on the part of our southern neighbour," he stressed.

President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev also said that the CSTO should join the UN peacekeeping activities.

“All the necessary tools have been formed, and, in our opinion, we need to set the task of connecting the CSTO to UN peacekeeping. This step will strengthen the legal personality of the CSTO, ensure the practice of the organisation's participation in international peacekeeping operations," he said.

Tokayev added that the organisation should pay special attention to the problems in Afghanistan. According to him, the unstable situation in the region threatens everyone's security.

President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Zhaparov said that the sponsors of terrorists in Afghanistan have plans for the whole of Central Asia. He stressed that this problem should be one of the main activities of the CSTO.

“The situation on the southern borders of the CSTO remains very alarming, primarily due to the unhindered activity of radical religious and terrorist structures in some Afghan provinces," he said.

“There has been a rampant neo-Nazism in Ukraine for a long time, which they turn a blind eye to”

Vladimir Putin, in his turn, speaking about threats to the post-Soviet space, paid attention to biological laboratories on the territory of Ukraine.

“As you know, the Pentagon created dozens of specialised biological laboratories and centres in our common region. And they are not engaged in providing practical medical care to the population of the countries where they launched their activities, but in collecting biological materials to study the spread of viruses. And now, during the special operation in Ukraine, documentary evidence has been obtained that in the immediate vicinity of our borders, in fact, components of biological weapons were created in violation of the Convention on the Prohibition of Biological and Toxin Weapons, possible methods and mechanisms for destabilising the epidemiological situation in the post-Soviet space were being worked out," the Russian leader said.

Continuing the topic of Ukraine, the president of Russia noted that “there has been a rampant neo-Nazism in Ukraine for a long time, to which some of our partners from the so-called collective West have turned a blind eye, which means that some of our partners from the so-called collective West actually encourage their activities”.

“All this is accompanied by an unprecedented surge of rabid Russophobia in the so-called civilised and politically correct countries in Western society. Yes, we hear it, and I record it in conversations, they tell us: well, there are extremists everywhere. Yes, it's true: there are extremists everywhere, one way or another they come out of hiding and manifest themselves. But nowhere, I want to emphasise this, nowhere at the state level the Nazis are glorified — nowhere, and nowhere in civilized countries the authorities encourage thousands of neo-Nazi torchlight processions with Nazi symbols. This is not done anywhere. Unfortunately, this is happening in Ukraine," he said.

Association's interaction with other countries

Vladimir Putin proposed to grant the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) observer status under the CSTO.

“We should increase interaction with our natural partners in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the Commonwealth of Independent States," the Russian president stressed.

At the same time, the member countries of the association expressed their readiness to establish practical cooperation with NATO.

“Realising our responsibility for ensuring lasting peace in the Eurasian region, we emphasise the importance of reducing tensions on the continent and confirm our readiness to establish practical cooperation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation," the statement of the Collective Security Council of the Organisation reads.

Also speaking about NATO, Vladimir Putin noted that the accession of Finland and Sweden will not create an immediate threat to Russia, since Moscow has no problems with these countries. According to him, Russia will react based on the emerging threats from the build-up of military infrastructure in Northern Europe.

“As for the expansion of the North Atlantic Alliance, yes, this is a problem that is being created, in my opinion, completely artificially, since it is being done in the foreign policy interests of the United States. In general, NATO is used as an instrument of foreign policy, in fact, of one country — it is done quite persistently, skillfully and very aggressively. This all aggravates the already difficult international security situation," he said.

In conclusion, the Russian president said that the leaders of the CSTO member states would adopt a joint statement on military cooperation, taking into account the experience of the peacekeeping operation in Kazakhstan.

“Today we are signing a joint statement, which, taking into account the experience gained during the operation, including the aforementioned one, will confirm the determination of our states to continue to cooperate in partnership in various areas of military and defence construction, to increase coordinated actions in the international arena," he said.

Maksim Kokunin