Session of the CIS Heads of State Council
President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko is concerned over the growing disintegration trends within the CIS. He made the statement at the session of the CIS Heads of State Council in Minsk on 10 October.
“Unfortunately, we have often heard the claims that the CIS has no future as an integration association. Belarus has repeatedly expressed its point of view on the importance of the Commonwealth of Independent States for all of us,” the Belarusian head of state said.
"Selective participation of the CIS states in those areas of cooperation that are of interest to them gives the Commonwealth the flexibility and stresses its uniqueness. However, this selectivity weakens the organization, makes it less effective," the Belarusian leader believes.
"The disintegration processes are, unfortunately, gaining ground in the Commonwealth, and this is the reason of concern. Especially in view of the attempts of individual ill-wishers to bury the CIS as a useless rudiment. Belarus is not a supporter of such pessimistic approach. We have always been in favor of the development of cooperation," Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed. In his words, this is why Belarus has again assumed the CIS chairmanship this year.
"We continued to implement our conceptual approaches to the development of the CIS. We have done everything we could to preserve the potential we have gained for more than 20 years,” the Belarusian head of state said, expressing gratitude for the support to the CIS Executive Committee and the countries who support the integration.
Aleksandr Lukashenko reminded that the history of the integration in the post-Soviet space began with the CIS. "The CIS is the foundation that creates the conditions and determines the interest of each country to the level of integration," the Belarusian leader noted. He added that the CIS track record is actively used by all other organizations established in the post-Soviet space. It has played a positive role in the further restoration and development of interstate relations on the post-Soviet territory. According to the Belarusian President, thanks in large part to the CIS the trade and economic relations have received a new impetus. However, there have been problems lately. In addition, the CIS has established a permanent political dialogue, cooperation towards the strengthening of security, and in humanitarian area.
According to the President of Belarus, the fact that this meeting is attended by nearly all heads of the CIS states eloquently confirms the vitality of the Commonwealth. "We all need a unifying platform. There are no indifferent people here. It is high time we talked frankly about the future of the Commonwealth,” the Belarusian leader said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko expressed confidence that today everyone is concerned about security in the CIS space.
I will be frank to say that this viewpoint is shared by many. We should pay more attention to these issues inside the CIS. What can be worse of a war on the territory of one of our partners, a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States,” the Belarusian leader remarked.
“I said that this is not my point of view, but I am convinced that this stand is supported by almost everyone. It is inadmissible when vital issues regarding a country such as Ukraine are addressed somewhere else, in Berlin or Milan. The question arises: why we should be addressed in terms of economic, political or diplomatic issues? Perhaps they should be addressed there – in Berlin or Milan,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
"The situation when we have an armed conflict in the center of Europe is absolutely unacceptable. I hope that everyone present here will share my viewpoint that the fighting in souheast Ukraine should be stopped as soon as possible,” the Belarusian head of state said addressing his counterparts. The President of Belarus believes that it is important to understand that Ukraine is not just a local hotbed. The armed conflict directly affects the security and undermines the economic development of Ukraine and the entire post-Soviet region.
According to the Belarusian leader, the parties to the conflict in Ukraine should not simply find common ground, but put an end to the bloodshed and implement the agreements reached in Minsk.
“All disputes should be solved only by peaceful means. We should not allow the bloodshed to continue,” the Belarusian head of state emphasized. He reminded that Minsk has become a negotiating platform for the conflicting parties. “We were able to make progress in this matter,” the Belarusian leader said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that the agenda of the meeting included a number of issues related to the cooperation between law-enforcement bodies. The issues are of practical importance. The agenda of the Minsk summit comprises the issues to counteract illegal migration, human trafficking, cooperation between financial intelligence bodies and general prosecutors. The Belarusian President remarked that at yesterday’s session of the UN General Assembly the Belarusian delegation spoke about crime prevention on behalf of the CIS member states.
The Belarusian President focused on the CIS Development Concept. The sides have done a lot to promote cooperation in science and technology. The President, however, believes that the cooperation level between the CIS R&D organizations is still insufficient. The Belarusian head of state deems it is necessary to pay special attention to the practical side of this area.
At the end of the summit Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that the parties had a detailed discussion of all the conceptual issues and development prospects for the CIS. “The talks once again proved our readiness for constructive cooperation and mutual understanding,” the Belarusian head of state said.
The summit of the CIS heads of state resulted in the signing of 15 documents. In particular, participants of the session adopted the address to the international community in connection with the 70th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War.
CIS leaders agreed that Kazakhstan would take over the CIS Chairmanship in 2015 and the next CIS summit would take place in Astana in September-October 2015. The heads of state also agreed to declare 2016 the Year of Education in the CIS.