A RIA Novosti correspondent at the CIS Anti-Terrorist Centre reports that personnel there are closely following the development in Afghanistan after the launch of the USA's military operation against terrorists. The centre's specialists are mainly involved in forecasting the course of events and how the situation in the central Asian region, particularly on CIS borders with Afghanistan, will be affected. A source told RIA Novosti that the centre was also in permanent contact with the Council of Collective Security and states party to the Collective Security Council, which includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Russia and Tajikistan. In particular, the matter in hand concerns measures to implement Council decisions to guarantee the security of member-nations against any threat emanating from Afghanistan. One of the main tasks facing the centre is the creation of a rapid deployment force in central Asia. The Anti-Terrorism Centre was set up in June 2001 by a decision taken by the Council of CIS heads of States. The Centre is involved in drawing up models for combined anti-terrorist operations and effecting cooperation when they are conducted.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969