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Moscow Urges 'Risk Minimization' Ahead of Afghan Pullout

RIA Novosti

21:28 19/12/2012

MOSCOW, December 19 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday proposed an action program be worked out to minimize possible risks involved in the upcoming reduction of the international military presence in Afghanistan.

"It is important to remember that elections are to take place in Afghanistan [later] this year, which is bound to ratchet up tension. We need to take all of that into account in our work," he told a session of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Council.

"An effective algorithm of practical action should be developed to minimize possible risks for our countries."

The CSTO's current members are Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Putin also stressed the need to expand the CSTO states' capability for collective response to emergency situations.

He praised the increasing level of cooperation and foreign policy coordination within the CSTO framework.

"This year more than 15 joint statements have been made on topical issues of the international agenda," the Russian president said.

The organization's goal is to put in place an effective partnership network to counter regional and international security threats, he said.

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