Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted a meeting of the Russian-led military alliance, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) on Monday, marking the 30th anniversary of its founding, but the meeting was anything but celebratory.
Instead, the heads of state of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, which are part of the Collective Defense Organization akin to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, went to the Kremlin in Moscow on Monday to review the world’s response to the war. of Putin in Ukraine.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, sitting in a huge room with impressively high ceilings and ornate gold-covered walls, lamented about “infernal” sanctions from the West and attempts to isolate Russia and Belarus – that the military movements of Putin in Ukraine has supported – from the rest of the world.
“Belarus and Russia… are vilified and excluded from international organizations on the whim of the West,” Lukashenko said.
In a joint statement, the CSTO also stated that it is concerned about the “external borders of the CSTO”, noting that they “remain ready to ensure the security of the borders”.
But Lukashenko lamented that alliance members have not aligned themselves with Russia as much as they should, especially as Russia works to expand NATO, a common argument Russian officials and allies have used to justify the war in Ukraine. In a likely reference to Finland and Sweden showing an interest in joining NATO, Lukashenko called for increased support as NATO’s threats continue, from “NATO saber clatter near our western borders to a full-scale hybrid war.” unleashed against us,” said Interfax.
“Russia should not fight against NATO enlargement alone,” he said.
Putin himself lamented an “increase of insane Russophobia in the so-called civilized and politically correct Western countries”, promising that NATO enlargement “would certainly elicit a response from our side. We’ll see what it will be like based on the threats created for us.”
Putin also demanded that his colleagues do more for Russia in the future, citing what he said was “documentary evidence” found during the invasion of Ukraine that he said would show that “components of biological weapons were developed in the proximity to our borders”.
To respond to those alleged threats from biological weapons — threats Putin said Russia has been dealing with for some time — Putin at the meeting called on CSTO members to agree to demonstrate their combined military might through joint CSTO exercises this fall. to be held in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
“Efforts to maintain biological safety also require the most serious attention,” he said.
Putin also seemed to urge his counterparts to back up his false justification for conducting the “special” military operation in Ukraine – to denazify the country.
“I would like to emphasize our priority task to jointly defend the memory of the victory in the Great Patriotic War, the achievement of our peoples who saved the world from Nazism at the cost of enormous and irreparable sacrifices, and to defend any attempt to Nazis, their henchmen and modern-day followers,” Putin said, noting that he thinks Ukrainians glorify the Nazis at the state level.
After the summit, the group noted in a statement that other countries have criticized Russia’s false claim that it invaded Ukraine to try to denazify the country, stressing that this is indeed the aim of the war, rather than a false pretense to invade.
We strongly condemn all attempts to falsify historical events related to our common contribution to countering Nazi aggression,” the CSTO said in a statement. “We express our grave concern about efforts to ban symbols associated with the victory over Nazism.”
The Putin-focused pity party comes as the Russian war in Ukraine enters its 82nd day, and the end is not in sight – US defense intelligence last week ruled that the war, which has shifted to eastern Ukraine, has almost reached a ‘stalemate’. †
Putin’s army continues to struggle in Ukraine. On Monday, Russian troops lost 27,700 troops, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in an analysis on Monday.
But while the fighting is reaching a protracted state, the Biden administration is still focused on providing security assistance to Ukraine to help thwart Russian attacks. The government has already provided $300 million in security assistance to Ukraine this fiscal year, with more expected soon.
The sympathetic party of Putin’s CSTO lamented the west’s military aid to Ukraine, which the US Defense Department says helped Ukrainians resist Russia’s advance into the war.
“So far in the West, including in Washington, we see only the desire to make the conflict last as long as possible,” Lukashenko said, referring to military aid. “The goals are clear: to weaken Russia as much as possible.”
Nevertheless, aid will continue to flow. Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed other weapons and security assistance during a meeting this weekend in Berlin with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. And later this week, the Senate is expected to vote on $40 billion in aid to Ukraine, Senate Republican leader Mitch MicConnell said Saturday.