Russia’s army chief calls on CIS countries to extend defense cooperation

The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) should broaden cooperation in defense and security, Russia’s Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov said on Thursday, TASS reports.

“Taking into consideration that the situation on the external borders of the Commonwealth is far from being stable, we have a common task not to allow the spread of terrorism to the CIS space,” Gerasimov told a meeting of the Committee of Chiefs of Staff of CIS member states.

“In this uneasy situation it is necessary to broaden cooperation in the sphere of defense and security,” the general said, adding that the military cooperation in the CIS format “allows successful cooperation in a broad range of areas.”

The International Army Games, the International military-technical forum “ARMY-2016” and other joint events held earlier this year show great possibilities and prospects of the military cooperation of the CIS countries, he said.

The legal basis for this is a concept of military cooperation of the CIS member-states up to 2020 approved by the CIS Council of Heads of State, he reminded. “The concept envisages strengthening our armed forces, maintaining national security and developing good neighborly relations.”

The CIS, a regional organization formed during the collapse of the Soviet Union, now consists of nine countries – Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Turkmenistan and Ukraine are associate members.

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