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The joint rapid-reaction forces of a post-Soviet regional security
The joint rapid-reaction forces of a post-Soviet regional security bloc will hold military exercises in August-September in Kazakhstan, a Russian first deputy foreign minister announced on Thursday.

Andrei Denisov said the development of the Collective Security Treaty Organization's rapid-reaction force was a topic of discussion at an ongoing meeting of CSTO deputy foreign, defense, and economics ministers at the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), which comprises Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, agreed in early February to set up the rapid-reaction force.

President Dmitry Medvedev earlier said that the force should be well-organized and equipped to counter a variety of threats.

The Russian president also said the CSTO was open for cooperation with the United States in the fight against terrorism in Central Asia.

The rapid-reaction force, which Medvedev has said "will be just as good as comparable NATO forces," will be used to repulse military aggression, conduct anti-terrorist operations, fight transnational crime and drug trafficking, and neutralize the effects of natural disasters.

Moscow has stressed that collective forces will not interfere in the domestic conflicts of the bloc's member countries.


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