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Belarus calls deals at Moscow security summit 'illegitimate'


MOSCOW, June 14 (RIA Novosti) - Belarus, which pulled out of Sunday's summit of the post-Soviet CSTO security bloc in Moscow, has said the agreements reached at the meeting are illegitimate.

Belarus refused to attend the summit of the Collective Security Treaty Organization in protest against Russia's ban on imports of its dairy products. The other members signed deals to create a joint rapid-reaction force.

"Decisions taken against the opinion of any member state of the organization are illegitimate," Belarusian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Andrei Popov said in a statement.

"The reason for our non-participation in the current CSTO session was the categorical refusal of Belarus to adopt CSTO decisions aimed at the strengthening of military political security under conditions where the economic security of a member of the organization, namely Belarus, is being openly undermined. This is our considered position," he said.

The Belarusian government earlier accused Russia of "economic discrimination" in its trade restrictions. Earlier in June, Russia banned imports of over 1,000 types of dairy products from Belarus, dealing a significant blow to its budget revenue, saying producers in the ex-Soviet republic had failed to comply with new Russian regulations.

In the absence of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, the leaders of the other member states - Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan - signed a document that includes "an agreement on collective forces and a decision by the Collective Security Council on the rapid-reaction force structure," Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced after the talks.

Russia already has joint military contingents with Belarus and Armenia through the CSTO. The new force will comprise large military units from five countries - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

Medvedev criticized Lukashenko for failing to personally contact him to discuss Belarus's refusal to take part in the summit.

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