Good to be understood

Belarusian parliamentary campaign receiving close international scrutiny
A group of OSCE/ODIHR mission short-term observers, armed with theoretical recommendations, has arrived in Minsk. Their practical counterparts from the EU are also monitoring the process. Among them is Zenta Tretjaka, a deputy of Latvia’s Parliament, and member of the Defence, Internal Affairs and Corruption Protection Committee. Ms. Tretjaka is much admired, being the first and only woman in Latvia to head a police department, in the Dobele District. Prior to this, she worked for 28 years heading the criminal investigation department in Jelgava. Therefore, she is well familiar with legislation, law-bound state principles and justice. She is also familiar with our country, as her parents are of Belarusian origin.

Zenta Tretjaka

Ms. Tretjaka, how are you so knowledgeable on Belarusian affairs?

Note the name of the committee I work with in Parliament. Security and border co-operation are areas of mutual interest for Belarus and Latvia; we are working together and must continue to do so. Our Parliament has a group for co-operation with Belarus. We’ve contributed to helping lift sanctions towards Minsk. I’m very proud of the fact. We are all for your country’s prosperity; it’s very dear to me. Everything that happens there is of interest to me.

You’re aware of 30 OSCE/ODIHR recommendations on the elections in our country. How far will these help mutual understanding and interaction, do you think?

This is an actively developing area, and not only between our two countries. The Baltic Assembly includes Baltic and Scandinavian countries. In May, deputies from your Parliament, those engaged in security and issues relating to border control, visited our country, as our agencies are working together.

As for the recommendations, we also receive EU recommendations, for instance, on fighting corruption. However, every state has its own legislation. It’s good when there is a recommendation prompting action in the right direction. Yet, it’s important not to harm yourself. We experienced this when there was a directive passed just after we entered the EU. At present, we have a totally different situation, where we don’t know how to formulate this directive legislatively, because it requires amending our laws and structure. Recommendations are important for taking further, useful action.

The most important OSCE advice is for Belarus to co-operate with other countries. Everyone needs to do so, and every state must be democratic and independent. Specifically, I’m glad that we can achieve common decisions between our committees. We can give each other a great deal. Mentoring or, God forbid, attempts to prevail are inadmissible.

Will you co-operate with Parliament after the elections?

For sure. When we met your representatives in May, we discussed our common interests for two days. We want to learn everything, to avoid mistakes. It’s a mutual learning curve. Indeed, we’re all interested in liaising, in offering friendly support to each other. Then, we’ll be able to make plans to coexist without causing harm to anyone and without expecting incorrect actions from others.

By Nina Romanova

Indonesia’s East Kalimantan Province seeks to attract investment from Belarus

By Alexander Pimenov

Indonesia’s East Kalimantan Province seeks to attract Belarusian investment into its infrastructure, as stated by the press service of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs 

Representatives of the Belarusian Embassy to Indonesia recently took part in a business forum entitled The Economic Potential of East Kalimantan and the Opportunities of Central and Eastern Europe Markets, at the invitation of the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the East Kalimantan Province Government.

Speaking at the forum were East Kalimantan Governor Awang Faroek Ishak, Indonesian diplomats, and representatives of the Indonesian Co-ordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs, of the Embassies of Belarus and Russia to Indonesia, and of the East Kalimantan Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“Participants discussed opportunities for developing mutual trade with Belarus and Russia and attracting investment into the infrastructure of Indonesian Province,” notes the press service. Representatives of the Belarusian Embassy met Awang Faroek Ishak, and the parties discussed matters relating to a visit by the East Kalimantan Governor to Belarus. In addition, they looked at ways of boosting exports of Belarusian quarry machinery, tyres and potash fertilisers to the Indonesian province, and paths to establishing co-operation in education.
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