Belarus' initiative to launch a new Helsinki Process is relevant for Europe, Vitaly Ignatenko, President of the World Association of Russian Press (WARP), UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, said during the meeting with Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko in Minsk on 12 July.
“I think you got the trend in Europe right. Everybody is fed up with fighting, feuding. Everybody is fed up with mutual misunderstanding. Everyone strives for mutual understanding. It was for a reason that the OSCE PA Annual Session was held in Belarus,” Vitaly Ignatenko noted.
He stressed that without new ideas Europe will suffocate or will have to deal with the ongoing problems such as migration. “The work on the document (a possible new international process similar to the Helsinki one – note by BelTA) will yield many new ideas and solutions to the issues that Europe is facing today. You have chosen a good time, the right audience,” Vitaly Ignatenko said.
He also stressed the significance of the Minsk venue for the dialogue to resolve the problems in the region and the world. “We need to use this opportunity now, immediately make a new step forward,” Vitaly Ignatenko noted.
In the process of preparing for the Helsinki Process, many had doubts about the effectiveness of such initiatives, Vitaly Ignatenko noted. “And when the work started everybody got engaged... When you sit down and write down your vision of how things should be… When the work was gaining momentum, when the process involved the presidents working shoulder to shoulder, the large countries they led, and many many people, then everyone wanted to make a contribution,” he said.
Another participant in the meeting, Mikhail Gusma, the Executive Secretary of the World Association of Russian Press, First Deputy General Director of the Russian News Agency TASS, also considers the Belarusian initiative as very timely. “Objectively speaking, it is very timely. With Europe in disarray and facing a choice of the path to move forward and further develop, your initiative is exactly on time,” Mikhail Gusman noted.
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said that Belarus has been promoting, for several years already, the idea to launch a new international process. It was decided to make announcement for international audience precisely at the OSCE PA session in Minsk. Many, especially the post-Soviet countries, received it very well. Western countries showed no intention to turn it down either,” he said.