Belarus to sign documents on CSTO rapid reaction forces

MOSCOW, Oct. 2 (Xinhua) -- President Alexander Lukashenko said on Friday that Belarus was ready to sign documents on the rapid reaction forces of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), Russian news agencies reported.

We have completed all the procedures required to sign the documents, said Lukashenko, who did not sign the pacts in June due to controversial Russian ban on Belarusian dairy products.

"We have always advocated unification processes," he told a news conference. "We can not chop up our own brainchild with an ax, so Belarus is ready to fulfill its obligations in the CSTO in full."

The CSTO, a post-Soviet security bloc which consists of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, agreed in early February to form rapid reaction forces. 

The forces, which Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said "will be just as good and comparable to NATO forces," are expected to counter such threats as military aggression, terrorist activities and drug trafficking.

Leaders of CSTO member states signed the documents establishing the forces during a June meeting in Moscow. However, Uzbekistan and Belarus did not join the move since Tashkent "has some doubts" and Minsk boycotted the summit amid economic disputes with Russia.



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