Aleksandr Lukashenko meets with Sergei Lebedev

    It is inadmissible to dissolve the Commonwealth of Independent States. The Belarusian head of state made the statement as he met with CIS Executive Committee Chairman, CIS Executive Secretary Sergei Lebedev on 5 May.

    “Frankly speaking, we live in a complicated period,” noted Aleksandr Lukashenko. Yet he was confident that the current problems will be dealt with. “Nevertheless, it is not a good idea to destroy the Commonwealth, which we strive for and which may not be exactly the way we like,” stressed the Belarusian leader.

    “Therefore, you and I have decided that the CIS will exist and we will work. As the state where the CIS HQ is located we will undertake the responsibility since Ukraine cannot preside over the Commonwealth this year due to certain reasons,” said the Belarusian leader.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko asked Sergei Lebedev to inform him about the events concerning preparations for the session of the CIS Heads of State Council, which is supposed to take place in October 2014. “But before that the heads of government and other agencies should take their measures and prepare the council’s session in order to make it effective and productive,” added the head of state.

    Sergei Lebedev thanked the Belarusian head of state for the readiness to take up the CIS presidency for the second time in a row and arrange a number of important forums that were initially supposed to take place in Ukraine. “You caught the CIS banner very fast. I like your saying that it couldn’t have been otherwise because the CIS HQ is in Minsk. I and the CIS states are confident that Belarus’ presidency in the CIS for the second year in a row will be quite successful,” said the CIS Executive Committee Chairman.

    “The previous year of Belarus’ CIS presidency demonstrated the active and committed participation of all the government agencies, Belarusian citizens in integration cooperation. The first steps as part of this year’s new presidency indicate that many events, which are scheduled to take place in 2014 as part of integration interaction, will indeed take place and will contribute to further enhancement of integration cooperation,” said Sergei Lebedev.

    In particular, quite a large number of forums and conferences will take place in Belarus during its CIS presidency. The meeting of the heads of government of the Commonwealth of Independent States in Minsk on 30 May is the closest major event. “We are already working with the executive office of the Belarus government to prepare the event. We hope that all the heads of government of the CIS states will arrive, including representatives of Ukraine. It would meet interests of Ukraine and naturally interests of the CIS states,” said Sergei Lebedev.
    In his words, the agenda of the forthcoming session of the CIS Heads of Government Council includes 20 important issues concerning the preservation and enhancement of innovation-driven cooperation, interaction in the humanitarian sphere, education, enhancement of cooperation in the information sphere and other things.

    A session of the CIS Heads of State Council is supposed to take place in Minsk in mid-October. A meeting of the CIS foreign ministers will take place the day before that following the established tradition.

    Plans have been made to hold a congress of CIS teachers in Minsk, too. Representatives of the CIS states are also invited to attend a series of events dedicated to the 70th anniversary of Belarus’ liberation from the Nazi invaders. CIS representatives will also take part in the autumn movie festival Listapad.
    Apart from that, Belarus will host sessions of a number of branch-wise councils that were supposed to take place in Ukraine earlier.

    The situation in the CIS was also discussed at the meeting of Aleksandr Lukashenko and Sergei Lebedev. The latter said: “I have to admit it is very complicated. We are concerned and alarmed by the developments in Ukraine. It is our historical traditional partner and neighbor regardless of its membership in the CIS. The country is connected to other CIS states by millions of ties”.

    “All the CIS states are in favor of the stabilization of Ukraine’s situation as soon as possible as well as peace and accord in the Ukrainian society. It would meet interests of the Ukrainian nation and interests of all the CIS states. The Belarus president also underlined it today,” Sergei Lebedev said after the meeting.