Updated 12:08 p.m. Moscow Time
MOSCOW, October 20 (RIA Novosti) – NATO has refused to cooperate with the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in stabilizing the situation in Afghanistan because of idealistic reasons, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.
“Our partners from NATO have persistently over the last 10 years refused our suggestions to set up a working joint cooperation with the Collective Security Treaty Organization even though this would be a natural alliance,” Lavrov said.
The CSTO regularly carries out counterterrorism and counternarcotics activities along the external perimeter of Afghanistan’s borders, the minister noted.
The Collective Security Treaty Organization includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan.
Russia remains highly concerned about the persisting threat of terrorism and drug trafficking from Afghanistan, particularly after international combat troops leave the country in 2014.
About 41,000 NATO troops remain in Afghanistan to fight the Taliban insurgency alongside Afghan soldiers and police. NATO's combat mission will end in December, with a follow-on force of about 12,000 troops likely to stay into 2015 on training and support duties.