The President of Belarus, Aleksandr Lukashenko, met with participants of the meeting of the Council of the CSTO Parliamentary Assembly in Minsk on May 18th
According to the Head of State, Belarus — currently presiding in the organisation — attaches particular importance to the parliamentary dimension as an integral part of the CSTO success, its improvement and further development
“The first and main task is the alignment and harmonisation of national legislations. There are no complaints about our Parliamentary Assembly. You offered many model laws to national parliaments, and some of them are actively used in Belarus and other countries,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The President named the observation function during election campaigns in the CSTO member states to be equally important. “Given the degree of negative reviews of the conditions of preparation and execution by biased political institutions, the impartial assessments of our assembly play a positive balance. That means we stand up for each other. This certainly has a positive effect on maintaining peace and security in the organisation’s area of responsibility,” the Head of State stressed.
Aleksandr Lukashenko stated that the negative trends, which have been repeatedly talked about over the past year, are becoming a foreign political reality. NATO has been building its military presence and offensive potential near the western borders of the CSTO. They have been conducting large-scale exercises and modernising the military infrastructure at an accelerated pace, including in neighbouring countries. “Some states have turned into a testing ground for the destruction of old Western hardware and testing new weapons. After Finland’s recent entry into the alliance and Sweden’s impending accession, we have once again witnessed the expansion of the North Atlantic bloc. These actions have put the world on the very dangerous brink of a global conflict... Despite the rapid decline in living standards and deteriorating economic prospects in European countries, the West is escalating international tensions and openly admits, with the voices of some politicians, that it is preparing for war,” the President stated.
Vyacheslav Volodin, Chairman of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, Chairman of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly
Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that the West justified its actions by ‘Russia’s intervention, aggression’ in Ukraine. However, the Head of the Belarusian State considers this explanation untenable.
The Belarusian leader pays special attention: Ukraine remains the central arena of confrontation, the battlefield on the European continent. In the wake of the military clash there all the most important spheres of interstate relations — political, economic and humanitarian — have been violated.
“Through the efforts of our Western opponents, the UN and the OSCE are turning into institutions of pressure and confrontation, they are becoming minions of Western states. We consider such actions short-sighted and irresponsible,” the President said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko accused OSCE of inaction, “If the OSCE is true to its name of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, if such a conflict is raging in Europe, well, it is time to get together at the highest level, to look at each other and to make some decisions. At least talk if we are unable to arrive at any decision. Many times the Russians and I suggested meeting and discussing problems. It was even before the launch of the special military operation. Zero effect. They do not need any discussion. They need one thing — war. And they are doing everything to push us into this war in order to unleash a war.”
Nevertheless, according to the President, Belarus remains committed and open to dialogue aimed at strengthening global and regional security. Belarus persistently calls for an end to confrontation and a return to a peaceful solution, “I emphasise: the dialogue should be mutually respectful and equal.”
Aleksandr Lukashenko said that Russia was ready to sign peace deal with Ukraine, “The Russian MPs were directly involved in this process from the very first day. We suggested negotiations. Let’s talk and stop the war. We hosted three rounds of talks. Then Zelensky decided he wanted more air or something and moved the talks to Türkiye. No problem, let it be Türkiye. They put a draft agreement on the table. If Russia were to read it now, it would go crazy. It was absolutely disadvantageous for Russia. But Russia was willing to sign it then... I have this draft on my desk. As soon as Russia agreed to the peace initiatives, to the agreement, they threw the draft into a bin. People may not know it. Nonetheless, the experts who were involved are aware of it... Instead of accusing us of confrontation, the expansion of this conflict, they’d better return to the negotiating table and start working on a new document, not the previous one [that was discussed during several rounds of Russian-Ukrainian negotiations at the initial stage]. The war must be stopped.”
Imangali Tasmagambetov, Secretary General of the Collective Security Treaty Organization
The Head of State also touched upon the topic of the so-called Ukrainian counteroffensive, which is often mentioned in the media, “I see this ‘counteroffensive’ as the biggest disinformation hoax. From my point of view, no ‘counteroffensive’ is going to happen. It’s just crazy. Launching the counteroffensive with one to five on the front in terms of hardware and manpower is just madness! But they persist with riling up Ukrainians in order to continue this confrontation and bog us down in it. These are how things are on the front today. We see it.”
Aleksandr Lukashenko once again stressed the need for a mutually respectful and equal dialogue, “What preconditions you are talking about? We must sit down at the negotiating table and work out all sorts of conditions there... We should concentrate our efforts on forming a new system of international relations, if we look far ahead. It should be based on universally recognised norms and principles of international law, but not on some ‘rules’ that the West is trying to force on us.”
The President added that most countries, which include the CSTO member states, see the best prospects for the development of a multi-polar world.
Belarus intends to continue to promote the principles of a just and multi-polar world, to help develop reliable guarantees to ensure both collective security and stability, and the security of each member of the international community.
Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasises the important role of unity in the CSTO to preserve the sovereignty and independence of its members, “I am sure that the motto of the Belarusian chairmanship ‘Through solidarity and co-operation towards peace and security’ chimes in with aspirations of all members of the CSTO. In this regard, the question of the unity in the organisation cannot be ignored. During its chairmanship Belarus aims to take the necessary steps to boost solidarity of the CSTO states. We need to remove existing disagreements if we want to strengthen the organisation, ensure security and stability in its area of responsibility.”
The Belarusian leader noted that he often discusses this problem with the President of Russia, “We don’t want the sanctions imposed against us to be extended to your countries because of your co-operation with us. We absolutely don’t need this. It will only make things worse. Nevertheless, I want to say that we very much hope that these attempts to tear us apart will not affect our unity. Economy is the cornerstone. So is the market.”
The Head of State noted that a number of countries in the post-Soviet space are facing various problems and challenges.
“They are trying to take us apart. As an experienced person, I want to ask you: be careful, do it without any fuss, do not fall for these tricks! You should take care of your own interests, the interests of your peoples. Do not allow (first of all, you, parliamentarians) any rupture at this crucial moment in our history. Global superpowers are trying to re-divide the world, and their eyes are on us. We should hold on to each other. This is our policy. We invite you to follow suit. I think there is no other way to preserve the sovereignty and independence of our states,”
Aleksandr Lukashenko said. An international conference on Eurasian security problems, which will be held in Minsk in autumn 2023, is one of the issues discussed in the Belarusian capital.
Based on materials of sb.by and belta.by Photos by BELTA