The joint meeting of the board of the two ministries took place in Moscow, Russia’s capital city. The key result of the meeting was the approval of the Program of concerted actions in foreign policy of the signatories of the Union State Treaty for 2006–2007. Besides, a plan of consultations for 2006 was signed. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called the meeting a success, but it was clear back in January during the meeting of the two presidents, Alexander Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin, who form the Supreme State Council of the Union State, that the Foreign Ministries would succeed, as the heads of state had set specific tasks. The Moscow meeting considered integration processes in the former Soviet Union, including the evolution of the Union State, relations of Belarus and Russia with western partners, interaction in international organizations and institutions such as the UN, OSCE, NATO and the European Union. Lavrov assured the board that Union State remained one of the main priorities of joint actions.
In turn, Belarus’ Foreign Minister Sergei Martynov said the meeting was quite efficient, as all the documents that were signed by the two ministries comprehensively covered all issues that required discussion. “Not a single issue was left out,” Martynov noted.
The two ministries stated that given the diversity of progressive development and acknowledgement of the right of peoples to determine ways of social and economic development independently and in accordance with the UN Charter Russia and Belarus would jointly counteract the attempts to interfere in domestic affairs of the two countries by third countries and international organizations, including interference on the ground of human rights protection. Besides, to pursue the joint statement of the two presidents on mutual understanding in WTO accession efforts made in January the Belarusian and Russia delegations will coordinate their approaches to the accession to the WTO.
When asked whether the Union State of Belarus and Russia was strong enough to respond to challenges of globalization, Lavrov said the Union State was capable of responding to any challenges, adding that the Supreme State Council and the Council of Ministers of the Union State were there to deal with challenges.
And last, but not least, on the day the joint boarding meeting was held Sergei Lavrov granted credentials to Russia’s new Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Belarus Alexander Surikov.
by Ivan Alexandrov