MINSK, 26 November (BelTA) – Belarus is prepared to stop any cooperation with the Council of Europe provided it adopts any program on cooperation with the country without coordinating it with the Belarusian authorities, Belarus Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei told reporters following a joint meeting of the collegiums of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Belarus and Russia in Minsk on 26 November, BelTA has learned.
“We are interested in the cooperation with this organization. However if the Council of Europe decides to adopt cooperation programs with our country without coordination with the Belarusian authorities, we will simply cease any interaction with this organization,” Vladimir Makei said.
In turn, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov said that the Western counterparts of Belarus and Russia do not want to respect international rules, while the Council of Europe is trying to impose its principles even on those countries that are not its member states. “I consider it absolutely inadmissible. We will make sure that the Council of Europe, under Germany's presidency, does not forget about the topics that the West is trying to sweep under the rug in every possible way. These are the infringement of the rights of Russian-speaking residents of the Baltic states, reforms in education in Ukraine, harassment of the Russian media and glorification of the Nazism,” the Russian diplomat said.