Ratification of the Collective Security Treaty, or the CST, will allow the parties concerned to strengthen their contractual and legal base and positions on the territory embraced by the Treaty, said Russian Premier Mikhail Kasyanov, opening a Thursday government session, which is expected to discuss ratification of the Agreement on the Legal Status of the Treaty and a Federal Bill envisaging ratification of CST Regulations.
According to the premier, interests in the Eurasian region and Central Asia are still a priority with Russia and other member states of the CST.
As of today, the CST unites Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan.
The Collective Security Treaty was signed in Tashkent on May 15th, 1992. Some of the countries, including Russia, are still to ratify the Agreement on the Legal Status of the CST.
The Treaty has an open character and does not mean a military bloc of any kind. Member states cannot join military unions or take part in any kind of activity directed against another member state.
Aggression against a member state will be regarded as an aggression against all members of the Treaty; however, only the heads of the CST states are authorised to make decisions to bring in armed forces to repel it.
It is expected that the documents laying down the status of the CST will be signed in the Tajik capital Dushanbe in April 2003.
An unidentified man wielding a knife attacked civilians in the Church of Notre Dame in the French city of Nice. Three people were killed, several others were hospitalised with injuries.One of the victims was beheaded