Informal meeting of CIS heads of state

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The economic results achieved in the CIS space this year are prosperous. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the relevant statement during the informal meeting of the CIS heads of state on 26 December.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stated that trade turnover between the CIS countries rose by nearly 25% in 2017. Belarus’ trade with the CIS states went up by nearly 25%, too. “It is a great accomplishment,” the President noted.

He also stressed that the Eurasian Economic Union had demonstrated strong economic results, too. The Belarus president reminded that the Russian Federation will preside over the Eurasian Economic Union next year. He said he hopes that during its presidency Russia will come up with serious initiatives to bolster the Eurasian Economic Union. Besides, Aleksandr Lukashenko stated that Belarus is in favor of creating common EAEU markets of electricity, natural gas, oil, and oil products in a timely manner.

“Our meeting has a political aspect because the core of our associations — the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Eurasian Economic Union, and the UnionState of Belarus and Russia — is living through such a responsible period. The political aspect is related to the fact that Russia, this core, is about to have a presidential election. It is only natural that political strife will become more pronounced. We are absolutely confident that political strife will not be acute or dramatic the way it was in Russia’s past,” the President said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko also said he is confident that the Russian nation will make the right choice.

In his speech the head of state also touched upon a number of topical international issues. In particular, he said it is essential to keep politics out of the war on doping in sports.

Speaking about the situation regarding the inability of the Russian team to take part in the forthcoming Olympics in South Korea, Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that Belarus supports Russia’s fight against doping. Aleksandr Lukashenko once again said that athletes must not use doping, however, only those, who use doping for a fact, should be punished. “If you haven’t caught them red-handed, you must keep quiet and must not use such sanctions,” the President said.

As an example he mentioned the situation when the Belarusian rowing team, one of the world’s strongest teams in this kind of sport, was not allowed to participate in the Olympic Games Rio 2016 due to far-fetched reasons. “We managed to secure the truth in court two or three months later, but time was already up,” the head of state stated. Apart from lost medals the country’s image was hurt.

Aleksandr Lukashenko once again repeated that only the athletes, who are caught using doping, should be punished. “If you don’t know whether someone is guilty or not, don’t politicize the process. Otherwise, it is nothing but political sanctions against a country,” the Belarus President added.

The head of state also spoke about the situation in the Middle East. “Russia has saved Syria, has saved the country, which I visited ahead of possibly everyone else, who is present here. A flourishing, beautiful, magnificent country,” the Belarusian leader said. The head of state said he believes that if Russia had not interfered, Syria would have been totally gone.

“We also back your stance on Jerusalem,” Aleksandr Lukashenko told President of Russia Vladimir Putin.

The Belarusian head of state noted it is difficult for him to evaluate USA President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. “There may be something to it we don’t see, but the decision looks somewhat strange at first glance,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “One should not destroy peace, for which so much had been paid in this part of the planet.”

According to the Belarusian leader, in the situation concerning Jerusalem one would do well to abide by decisions made by the United Nations Organization.