Aleksandr Lukashenko attends CICA summit in Astana
Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko attended the summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) on 13 October.
“Each of the countries represented here has its own specifics, but we all have something in common - the need to get out of the crisis as soon as possible and get normal development back on track. Both Europe and Asia are thinking about it,” said the Belarusian leader.
According to him, the pandemic has revealed the contradictions that existed before, and has enrooted a new geopolitical reality, which in fact began to take shape more than four decades ago.
“After the collapse of the USSR, the so-called collective West, victory-drunk, lost control and failed to perform its functions of the global regulator and guarantor of stability. The whole world is paying for it now,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.
The President stressed that Belarus contributed to global security and was among the countries of the former Soviet Union, which voluntarily gave up possessing nuclear weapons. “What have we got in return? Assurances instead of real international legal guarantees, empty, unsupported declarations like the Budapest memorandum, endless attempts to destabilize the situation in calm and hardworking Belarus. Foreign curators almost openly controlled the unrest in the country in 2020,” the head of state said.
The same scenario was tested earlier in Ukraine. “We can see what it led to. Fortunately, in 2022 we managed to keep the peace in this land - in Kazakhstan,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.
At the summit, the President posed the following question: “How does the practice of organizing coups d'etat in other countries and the diktat of sanctioning punishments for states that manage to respond to this challenge fit into the norms of international law?” No one even asks such a question anymore, he said.
“Our answer must be unambiguous: it is unacceptable and bears the risk of igniting a third world war, which will have no winners. Everyone should think about it, because the security situation is catastrophically deteriorating not only in Europe but all over the world. The chain of conflicts that has shaken the Old World has already reached Asia. Moreover, the Western countries offering their peacemaking services only add fuel to the fire and are not interested in de-escalation. Their goal is to divide everyone, to get uncontrolled access to markets and resources,” said the head of state.
As part of greater Eurasia, Belarus cannot ignore the current state of affairs in the region. “I am convinced that the time has come to unite our efforts and jointly confront the problems that we have encountered and that we cannot overcome alone,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.
First of all, the President focused on the economy. “"We will be strong only if we are able to benefit from joint work and address the most sensitive issues of energy, food, fertilizers, logistics and access to markets. All conventions, protectionism and national egoism should be left behind,” the Belarusian leader stressed.
Belarus understands the goal of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia as to jointly create cooperation mechanisms on a wide range of issues without harassment and sanctions. “We need most-favored-nation trade and investment formats, open borders for goods, services, and workforce, as well as new transport corridors,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The President is confident that the potential of the Eurasian region is huge: “It has an enormous resource base and production capacity, and an unrivaled consumer market. It is clear that the continent's role will grow. Asian countries alone produce a third of the world's GDP, and their population is more than 4 billion people.”
The Republic of Belarus views cooperation with Asian countries as one of the priorities of its foreign policy.
“Being in the center of Europe, we maintain close trade and economic cooperation with Central Asian partners in the Eurasian Union. Our country participates in China's Belt and Road initiative. We are the western outpost of the CSTO, but at the same time we actively communicate with all our allies in this organization’s zone of responsibility,” the head of state said.
“Our initiatives - from a broad international dialogue on confidence building measures to the Digital Neighborhood Belt - are focused on creating an indivisible, comprehensive security architecture, where states and peoples coexist peacefully,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The President expects that cooperation between the CSTO, the SCO and the CICA can lay a strong foundation for both the successful development of the Eurasian space, and for the security of the member states of these organizations.
“We can be a good example of interaction for the European region, where the system of checks and balances created in the 1990s is bursting at its seams and falling apart. I am convinced that given the shift of the focus of global politics and economy to Asia, the dynamic development of transcontinental trade and economic ties, pan-Eurasian infrastructure and logistics projects, further expansion of dialogue and cooperation between the countries of the meeting is more relevant than ever,” the Belarusian leader said.
“The structure of the new world order where the new poles of world politics take will take shape and the future balance of power will largely depend on our collective will and political responsibility. Today they are more important than ever, because the future of our children and grandchildren is at stake,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.
In conclusion, he expressed his conviction that the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia would play a significant role in responsible decision-making processes that would contribute to building a peaceful and predictable future. “Belarus is ready for such serious work both politically and economically,” the Belarusian leader assured.
“Summarizing, we can say: the time has come for Asia. It is of crucial importance not to miss this time!” the Belarusian leader said.