Aleksandr Lukashenko meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

    Belarus and Russia have common views on problems on the international agenda, President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on 15 August.

    “It is now important for us to discuss our foreign political cooperation in the international arena. We might also discuss some matters in Belarusian-Russian relations, although, fortunately, there is nothing out of the ordinary, no tension here,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

    The President stated that this year when the two countries mark the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations has become very productive for mutual relations. The president of Russia, the prime minister, heads of the two chambers of the Russian parliament have visited Belarus. As usual the foreign ministries of the two countries actively cooperate as well. “We have always said we have exemplary relations between the foreign ministries. May we have the same relations with other agencies like the relations our foreign ministries enjoy,” the head of state stressed.

    According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, economic cooperation is developing well, the bilateral trade has increased considerably.

    The President of Belarus said: “As far as our view on international problems and primarily trouble spots is concerned, it fully coincides with evaluations and efforts of the Russian Federation. You can rest assured we support all your intentions, especially those regarding the normalization of the situation in Syria”.

    Speaking about the situation in Belarus, Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that in the run-up to the forthcoming parliamentary elections, certain things arouse concern. “You understand that the political activities are gaining momentum, but not always in the right way. So far there have been no such spikes in Belarus apart from the West that is always eager to stir up something,” said the President.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko shared his views regarding the appointment of Matteo Mecacci as the chief of the OSCE PA observation team to monitor the forthcoming parliamentary elections in Belarus. “I think they might have found a person more knowledgeable about Belarus and the situation in the Republic of Belarus. We are now closely studying all these positions and naturally will give an adequate response,” the head of state emphasized.

    In turn, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov remarked that he had discussed the forthcoming parliamentary elections in Belarus and OSCE activities at the meeting with Foreign Minister of Belarus Sergei Martynov. “We have a resolution of the CIS Heads of Government Council that says that the CIS monitoring mission should play a more significant role during the presidential and parliamentary elections. This resolution is designed to get more of our observers influencing these processes in the European space and challenging the monopoly of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE ODIHR) and the Parliamentary Assembly so that the estimations are given on the basis of measured and collective approaches and opinions,” Sergei Lavrov noted.

    He underscored that Russia will secure the participation of its citizens in various observation missions during the parliamentary elections in Belarus, including in the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, OSCE ODIHR and the CIS monitoring mission.

    Sergei Lavrov emphasized: “Russia will do its best to make assessments of the elections in Belarus objective and impartial. Russia will make sure the assessments are not subject to the unilateral rules that the OSCE tries to impose despite the repeated collective suggestions to elaborate commonly accepted election monitoring rules.”

    Sergei Lavrov underlined: “Now we see the OSCE’s growing understanding of the need to straighten things out in this sphere.” He said that in June 2012 the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly decided to perform a comparative analysis of the election legislation of the OSCE member states and called for the elaboration of common criteria.

    “This is what we have been trying to achieve. Now it is important to advance the parliamentary decision to the intergovernmental level. We have talked about this with Belarusian Foreign Minister Sergei Martynov. This point will be raised at the session of the joint boards of the foreign ministries of Belarus and Russia that will be held in Minsk in October 2012. Undoubtedly, all international issues will be discussed at the session, including the complicated and alarming events in the north of Africa, in the Middle East and in other troubled spots.”

    The head of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs underscored that he had already discussed with Sergei Martynov the fulfillment of the arrangements made by Aleksandr Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin as well as the arrangements made during the visit of Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Medvedev and the heads of both chambers of the Russian parliament.

    “There are many arrangements, including those on the parliamentary supervision of the Eurasian integration. This is important for the efficient legislative consolidation of the agreements reached by Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan,” the Foreign Minister of Russia said.