20 April 2021
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1143 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     1135 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities

SPEECHES, INTERVIEWS, ARTICLES

19.06.2020

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to media questions during a joint news conference following talks with Foreign Minister of the Republic of Belarus Vladimir Makei, Minsk, June 19, 2020

Ladies and gentlemen,

First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to our Belarusian friends for the warm welcome accorded to our delegation.

I would like to take this opportunity to once again congratulate all our colleagues and all the Belarusian people on the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War, which is our common legacy. During today’s reception, President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko confirmed that he will attend the Victory Parade, at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin, to be held in Moscow on June 24.

We and our Belarusian friends share the idea that our joint task is to preserve and protect the truth about the events of those years. We emphasised that no attempts to rewrite history, destruction of memorials to Soviet soldiers or recurrence of neo-Nazism will be able to erase the memory of this sacred date and the feat of the Red Army soldiers, guerilla fighters and home front workers who saved civilisation from the horrors of Nazism. This is described in detail and convincingly in the recent article by President of Russia Vladimir Putin.

Today, we have discussed topical issues of bilateral relations, compared positions on current international and regional matters and planned a schedule for future meetings. In particular, we talked about preparations for a joint meeting of the collegiums of our ministries, which we plan to hold in the fourth quarter of this year in Minsk.

We have just signed an intergovernmental agreement on mutual visa recognition and other issues related to the entry of foreign citizens into the territory of the Union State. This document is aimed at creating a common migration space for Russia and Belarus.

We rated the cooperation of our countries in countering the spread of the coronavirus infection very highly. We promptly organised the evacuation of Russian and Belarusian citizens from third countries by our airlines through Moscow and Minsk. Earlier, Russia supplied Belarus with test systems and high protection safety respirators for fighting the infection. Funds from Russian contributions to UNDP and IAEA projects were rechanneled for assistance to Minsk.

We emphasised the importance of further enhancing the coordination of actions and promoting common approaches on the international scene, including in the UN and the OSCE.

We reviewed the progress of fulfilling the programme of coordinated foreign policy actions for 2020-2021.

We supported the idea of promoting cooperation in multilateral associations in the CIS. This year Belarus chairs the EAEU. Today, we discussed implementation of the agreements reached at the online meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in May. We exchanged views on the results of videoconferences of the CIS Heads of Government Council, the CIS Foreign Ministers Council and the CSTO Foreign Ministers Council which were also held last month.

This year Russia is chairing the CSTO. Today, we spoke about implementing the priorities of the Russian chairmanship, including the development of the CSTO’s cooperation with the CIS, the SCO and the UN.

We discussed relations with the European Union and the United States, and NATO’s expanding activities in the direct vicinity of our borders, primarily in the Baltic Region and Poland. Such actions by the alliance are openly provocative and lead to the further fragmentation of the European security space.

We exchanged opinions on strategic stability and arms control issues and criticised the announced US withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty. We share the view that along with the destruction of the INF Treaty by Washington, this step damages global security and the system of arms control agreements. Russia and Belarus form a united group of states in the Open Skies Treaty. We are not interested in escalating international tensions; we intend to conduct equitable dialogue without ultimatums and groundless accusations but with all sides taking into consideration each other’s interests and concerns. We agreed to closely cooperate on Open Skies issues, based on the primary need to ensure the security of the Union State. We will adhere to these positions at the extraordinary conference of the state parties to the Open Skies Treaty scheduled for July 6.

We also highly appreciate the constructive role of Minsk as a venue for implementing the Minsk Package of Measures through direct contact between the Kiev authorities with representatives of Donetsk and Lugansk. We confirmed that there is no alternative to the full and consistent implementation of the Minsk agreements.

On the whole, we are quite satisfied with the results of the talks that took place in a traditional atmosphere of friendship. We reaffirmed our mutual striving to further promote Russian-Belarusian foreign policy cooperation based on our allied relations. Moscow and Minsk assign a special place to these relations in their approaches to expanding their international mutually beneficial ties with foreign states and their associations.  




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