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28.07.2021 (15:00)

The head of the Russian military department took part in the meeting of defence ministers of the SCO member states

The head of the Russian military department took part in the meeting of defence ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states in Tajikistan.

In his speech, General of the Army Sergei Shoigu said that the situation along the perimeter of the borders of the SCO countries is complex and tends to worsen.

"The peaceful development of the Organization's member states and the well – being of our peoples continue to be threatened by international terrorism, extremism, separatism and cybercrime," the Russian Defence Minister said.

At the same time, Sergei Shoigu noted that the situation is aggravated by the pandemic, which has exacerbated international contradictions, traditional challenges and threats.

The head of the Russian military department added that at this stage, the situation in Afghanistan, which is actively involved in the activities of the SCO as an observer state, is becoming particularly relevant.

"Next week, in order to respond to the aggravation of the situation in Afghanistan, together with Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, we will conduct exercises on their territories. Practical actions will be worked out to inflict fire damage and destroy gangs, conduct aerial reconnaissance and strengthen the protection of important objects, " the Russian Defence Minister said.

In addition, Sergei Shoigu said that in September, a joint military anti-terrorist command and staff exercise of the SCO countries Peace Mission–2021 is planned at the Donguzsky training ground in the Orenburg region.

"Similar exercises, but with the participation of the Collective Forces of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), will be held in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan in the fall. In the future, it is proposed to involve military contingents of the Collective Rapid Reaction Forces of the CSTO and units of friendly countries in the exercises Peaceful Mission to work out joint repelling of terrorist threats," the head of the Russian military department said.

Speaking to the participants of the meeting, the Russian Defence Minister stressed that today long-term hotbeds of tension are forming around the SCO countries with a difficult-to-predict scenario for the development of events.

"Aggressive economic pressure, all kinds of sanctions, provoking conflicts, conducting disinformation campaigns of the population have become characteristic methods of achieving goals. The instability is most acute in Southeast Asia, " Sergei Shoigu said, noting that "Washington is imposing the creation of structures similar to NATO on the states of the region."

"Advanced high-readiness groups are being formed, forces and means of non-regional states are increasingly being involved in the exercises, which increases the risk of incidents during military activities. A large — scale deployment of the anti-missile defence system and its interface with strike means is being carried out," the head of the Russian military department said.

Sergei Shoigu recalled that the Russian Defence Ministry has repeatedly pointed out the destabilizing role of the US missile defence system and its orientation against Russia and China.

The head of the Russian military department also noted that the situation is further complicated by the fact that with the termination of the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles, this class of weapons can also be deployed in Asia.

"The tendency to increase the military confrontation in the European zone is of serious concern. NATO's forward presence is increasing near the borders of the Union State of Russia and Belarus. The military infrastructure is being improved, stocks of material resources, weapons and military equipment are being created, troop transfer routes are being worked out, " the Russian Defence Minister added.

Continuing the topic, Sergei Shoigu said that the upcoming Russian-Belarusian exercise Zapad-2021 is purely defensive in nature and is not directed against other countries and alliances.

"To practice actions to ensure military security on the western borders, we are holding a joint Russian-Belarusian strategic exercise Zapad-2021 in September. All the SCO countries were invited to participate in it. This exercise is exclusively defensive in nature and is not directed against any country or union, " the head of the Russian military department said.

At the same time, the Defence Minister noted that Russia has never called for and does not call for the revival of block ideology and confrontation along the East-West axis.

He called the settlement of regional conflicts an important aspect of international stability.

"We are actively contributing to this process. Syria and Nagorno — Karabakh are illustrative examples, " the head of the Russian military department added.

During the meeting, the Russian Defence Minister also expressed gratitude to the Tajik friends for their hospitality and warm welcome.

"Our meeting is traditionally focused on security issues and takes place in the year of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Over the past period, the SCO has become an influential interstate association, playing an increasingly important role in international affairs. This was largely facilitated by the interaction between the defence departments of the Organization's member states and the achieved level of mutual understanding and trust," the Russian Defence Minister said.

Sergei Shoigu added that the SCO member state's assessments of the international situation and approaches to solving issues of regional stability and security largely coincide.

The head of the Russian military department also named the key tasks that need to be solved within the framework of the SCO to ensure common security.

"In the current conditions, the relevance of practical cooperation between the defence departments of the participating countries, the creation of effective tools to ensure common security in the SCO area of responsibility has significantly increased," Sergei Shoigu said.

To this end, he invited his colleagues to focus on the implementation of a number of key tasks.

"The first is to develop mechanisms for the exchange of information in the field of military security and experience in countering terrorism within the SCO, as well as to maintain regular contacts through the general staffs," the Russian Defence Minister said.

The second task, according to the Russian Defence Minister, is to improve the training of troops and the practice of conducting joint exercises Peaceful Mission, during which it is necessary to work out ways to counter new tactical techniques used by international terrorists. In particular, the issues of combating unmanned aerial vehicles, ensuring information security, preventing terrorist attacks using chemical and biological weapons.

"The third is to increase the level of cooperation between the SCO on security issues with third countries and international organizations," the head of the Russian military department said. — To do this, we should work out the possibility and acceptable forms of joint use of the anti-crisis potentials of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Collective Security Treaty Organization."

According to Sergei Shoigu, it is important to expand the format of participation in the SCO exercises by attracting military contingents and observers of friendly countries and regional organizations — the CSTO and the CIS.

The head of the Russian military department expressed confidence that " the results of today's meeting and the implementation of the proposals made will become a solid basis for the further progressive development of the SCO, maintaining general stability and security."

Directorate of Media service and Information
Tags:
Minister of Defence , International activity , ШОС
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