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Putin Calls For 'Coordinated' Security Measures By CSTO

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called on members of a regional security grouping to take "coordinated and collective measures" to enhance their security.

Speaking at a summit of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in Moscow on December 23, Putin said the gathering was taking places at a "difficult time."

"Old problems are escalating and new ones are emerging," Putin said, adding a "deformation of the global security system has been taking place."

He said "this requires the CSTO states to take coordinated and collective measures aimed at maintaining security in our countries and
in our region as a whole."

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka said the situation near CSTO borders "has never been as tense and explosive as it's today."

The CSTO comprises Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.

The meeting in Moscow comes as Russia is facing Western condemnation over its annexation of Crimea and its support for pro-Russian separatists whose conflict with Ukrainian goverment troops has killed more than 4,700 people in eastern Ukraine since April.

Based on reporting by Interfax and TASS