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18 May 2022, 15:10

Kochanova: Belarusian, Russian MPs should speak up on international arena

MINSK, 18 May (BelTA) – The voice of parliamentarians of Belarus and Russia should be heard on the international arena, Chair of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly Natalya Kochanova said as she met with a delegation of the Legislative Assembly of Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, BelTA has learned.

“First of all, I would like to thank you for your decision to come to Belarus. I can tell you sincerely that this is the first meeting of this kind in this convocation of the parliament. I think that this will become a good tradition, because the relations between Belarus and Russia are not just relations of good neighbors, but also brotherly relations of good friends. We are bound by a common history, a common past and an absolutely clear vision of how we should cooperate today. There is no doubt about it. Of course, the presidents of our countries, as well as the visits at the highest and high levels set the trend. And it has already become a good tradition for governors to visit Belarus. I think that we, parliamentarians, need to work more closely in this direction. The programs adopted by the Supreme State Council must be implemented, which is what we are doing today. We, parliamentarians, have an important role to play,” Natalya Kochanova said.

The speaker emphasized that the Council of the Republic is a body of territorial representation. “We work with all the deputies, starting from village councils. Therefore, inter-regional cooperation is very important for us. Today we have quite close relations between our towns, sister cities. I have checked the statistics - 24 pairs of cities maintain sister city relations today. This is important, because it is where the interaction between our peoples begins. People's diplomacy is, perhaps, at the heart of everything. I hope that today or tomorrow you will have a tour of our enterprises, organizations, institutions and get a better understanding of how the Council of the Republic works. We are very interested in this kind of contacts. I believe that members of the Council of the Republic should also undertake such trips to the Russian regions, although we already cooperate very closely within the framework of the Parliamentary Assembly, the CIS IPA, with our Russian counterparts, with members of the Federation Council,” she said.

According to Natalya Kochanova, Belarus and Russia should intensify cooperation in the face of the sanctions and the external pressure. “We must use every opportunity, every international platform to inform the public about what is happening in relation to our countries. We must tell the truth. We see how the past and present of our countries are distorted today. Absolutely outright lies is spread. We adopted a lot of statements and addresses in 2020. We appealed to many colleagues in international organizations, parliamentarians. Yet, unfortunately, they do not want to hear it, it is just a dirty politics aimed at destroying our countries. This cannot be allowed, so parliamentarians should speak up on the international arena. We should continue supporting each other and cooperating with each other. And I think that you have launched a good tradition, and we will keep it up. You are the first delegation of such a level,” said the chair of the Council of the Republic.

The speaker recalled that preparations are underway for the Forum of Regions of Belarus and Russia that will be held in Grodno this year. “The theme of the upcoming forum is ‘Regional cooperation and its role in integration processes'. We hope that Nizhny Novgorod Oblast will take an active part in the forum this year. You are welcome here. This year, the Train of Memory project will be held on the sidelines of the forum at the initiative of the Federation Council. As part of the project, 100 Russian and Belarusian tenth-graders will travel together through the cities of Russia and Belarus. The itinerary features seven Belarusian cities and seven Russian cities. The journey will start in Brest and will end in Minsk on 3 July, Independence Day of Belarus. We want this project to become traditional. Can you imagine, 200 people will travel together for such a long time, they will become friends. If young people become friends, this will strengthen our relations and give a boost to our cooperation. We need to come up with other initiatives as part of inter-parliamentary contacts of Russia and Belarus. It must be done and it will be the right thing to do,” Natalya Kochanova said.

“Thank you for your kind words and for the warm welcome,” Chairman of the Legislative Assembly of Nizhny Novgorod Oblast Yevgeny Lyulin said. “I have a long record of promoting cooperation between Nizhny Novgorod Oblast and Belarus. I have been actively participating in these processes for dozens of years. Over this time, the scale of our economic cooperation increased around 4 times. This is absolutely correct. We need to maintain momentum. We must work together and our cooperation should go beyond the level of executive power. After all, we provide legislative support for all economic, social, cultural and educational processes. And we work in all these areas,” he said.

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