The country accepts presidency

Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the CIS invites Belarus to hold presidency through forthcoming year
By Vladimir Khromov

Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the CIS invites Belarus to hold presidency through forthcoming year

At the session, chaired by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Belarus, Vladimir Makei, great attention was given to the question of the CIS presidency, in light of Ukraine having asked to relinquish the honour in March. Belarus expressed full readiness to take over, having held the presidency last year.

The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, hopes that, under the presidency of Belarus, this year will be fruitful for the Commonwealth. The Executive Secretary of the CIS, Sergey Lebedev, thanked the administration of Belarus for consenting to undertake the burden and noted that, this year, Belarus will be chairing all the supreme bodies of the Commonwealth.

Mr. Lebedev noted that other CIS states are eager to continue the events planned under the Ukrainian presidency for 2014, such as the Creative and Scientific Forum being hosted by Kazakhstan. He added, “Belarus’ presidency of the CIS will see it carry out not only organisational functions, but the creation of concrete content.”

Mr. Makei underlined that, taking into account the current situation, it’s impossible to speculate on Belarus offering a fully-fledged concept for the CIS presidency, since it is accepting ‘on the hoof’. However, he emphasises that, in 2013, when Belarus last hosted the CIS presidency, it realised about 70 programme points, focusing on integration. It aims to continue following the same agenda and he sees the promotion of good neighbourliness across the CIS as a priority. He also wishes to focus on economic questions, including the CIS free trade zone, preparing documents relating to free trade in services, and for state purchases. Celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of Great Patriotic War Victory for Commonwealth countries will also receive attention.

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