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Russia-Led CSTO Downgrades NATO Ties

The head of the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) said the grouping is suspending efforts to "facilitate dialogue" with NATO but will develop relations with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Nikolai Bordyuzha, the head of the Commonwealth of Independent States' CSTO, met on June 16 in Moscow with the chairman of the Russian Duma, Sergei Naryshkin, and CSTO representatives in the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly.

Bordyuzha said the foreign ministers of the CSTO countries (Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan) had recommended suspending dialogue with NATO.

He added that the ministers favored strengthening ties with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, with China, and with countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Bordyuzha said the world "is on the edge of open conflict," because of countries that interfere "in the internal affairs of [other] states."
Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and Interfax

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