Complete mutual understanding and important interaction

Development of Eurasian integration is a priority for Russia and Belarus
By Vladimir Khromov

The joint meeting of the Foreign Ministry collegiums of Belarus and Russia was held. However, previous to it, Minsk hosted a meeting between the Head of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Sergey Lavrov, and the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko. They chatted for some time about the relationship between our two countries and co-operation within the Union State and other integration associations. Views were also exchanged on international issues, creating an introduction to the substantive discussion which took place a little later, between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus and that of Russia.

Mr. Lukashenko often refers to liaisons between the Foreign Ministry of Belarus and that of Russia as an example to other ministries. He noted that such trusting relations are perhaps only seen elsewhere in the military, with others having some way to go to achieve similar success.

According to Mr. Lavrov, the joint meeting is a vital element in our foreign policy co-operation and serves as a useful platform for co-ordinating approaches to key issues on the international agenda. “Under conditions of ongoing profound change in the international landscape, accompanied by turbulence in the spheres of economics and politics, this interaction is especially topical,” stresses the Head of the Russian Foreign Ministry. “In this regard, Russia and Belarus (as participants of the Union State) are focusing on the fundamental principles of the UN Charter, promoting the universal principles of equal and indivisible security, while supporting a just and democratic polycentric system of world order, corresponding with the realities of the 21st century.”

Following the results of the joint meeting, the Foreign Minister of Belarus, Vladimir Makei, and the Head of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Sergei Lavrov, stressed that complete mutual understanding exists on key international issues. “We’ve reached absolute understanding on all prospects for co-operation in the international arena. Our Ministries of Foreign Affairs have allied relations across many joint activities,” said Mr. Makei. “We adhere to a completely unified approach within the international arena, without any disagreements — small or fundamental.”

Mr. Lavrov is satisfied with the results of the last joint meeting of the collegium of Foreign Ministries. “This facility has recommended itself as an effective platform for co-ordinating various foreign policy issues, supported from the top by our two presidents — as re-affirmed during my meeting with Alexander Lukashenko,” he said.

According to Mr. Lavrov, specific areas of co-operation between the Foreign Ministries of Belarus and Russia have been discussed. In particular, co-operation within the United Nations came under scrutiny, particularly in regard to human rights issues. “In this area, bias and double standards remain, so we’ll continue to harmonise our approach to solving problems which arise, preventing them from politicisation and blocking any attempts to impose one-sided views on the implementation of universally accepted standards regarding the protection and promotion of human rights. Double standards have no place here,” noted the Head of the Russian Foreign Ministry. “We have agreed on concrete steps, including the need to jointly implement a global plan of action to combat human trafficking. The plan was initiated by Belarus and adopted with the active support of Russia.”

OSCE reform was also discussed, as Mr. Lavrov explains, “The proposals of Russia, Belarus and other CSTO members were laid on the table for negotiation long ago. We’ve agreed that we’ll draw attention to these initiatives at the next meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the OSCE, in Dublin.”

Issues of information security were debated, with Belarus and Russia agreeing to take co-ordinated steps to promote a fair approach. A joint approach to historical revisionism was also agreed. “We believe that attempts to rewrite history for short-term political purposes are disrespectful to the memory of the millions who gave their lives to liberate Europe from Fascism. Such moves go against the decisions of the Nuremberg Trial and the fundamental principles of international relations, which are enshrined in the Charter of United Nations,” stresses the Russian Minister.

A number of other issues were discussed, with the Russian Federation supporting the active involvement of the Republic of Belarus in the work of the Council of Europe and of the Council of the Baltic Sea States, and within other regional multi-feature structures.
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