MINSK, 15 October (BelTA) – The decision to establish the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) after the collapse of the Soviet Union was the right one, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he spoke at the session of the CIS Heads of State Council which is taking place in the format of a video conference on 15 October, BelTA has learned.
The head of state remarked that the meeting is a landmark one as it is taking place in the run-up to the 30th anniversary of the CIS. “There are different opinions about the disintegration of the Soviet Union or, to be more specific, its involuntary collapse. All of you are aware of my negative attitude to those events. However, the decision to establish such an integration ‘dome' sheltering former Soviet republics from chaos and economic collapse was, probably, the right one. Over three decades the CIS has travelled an uneasy road of development and has become a universally respected regional organization,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The president said that universalism, voluntary participation and equality are the main principles which helped prevent many destructive processes, stabilize the economies, and preserve trade ties between the countries.
“According to tradition, in the anniversary year the CIS heads of state need to pass a corresponding statement. In the draft document we sum up the results of our work in the past 30 years, determine goals concerning the expansion of mutually beneficial cooperation, the adaptation of the CIS to existing realities, outline measures to counteract modern challenges and threats,” the Belarusian leader noted.
In his opening remarks Aleksandr Lukashenko said that Belarus' responsible and honorable mission – the presidency in the Commonwealth of Independent States – will end in three months. In 2021, the Belarusian side has been doing its best to implement the provisions of the Concept and the Plan of Presidency. “We adapt their implementation to the new realities and pay special attention to the realization of the initiatives of the participating countries. We are doing everything we can,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
Special attention is drawn to the development of the common economic space and the promotion of mutual trade. The sides are developing the agreement on the free trade in goods and services, minimizing restrictions and exemptions in the free trade regime, lifting technical barriers, improving regulations and public procurement procedures.
According to the Belarusian leader, the efforts in the cultural and humanitarian fields were aimed at the further development of the organizational and legal foundations of the youth policy, culture, science, education, healthcare, sport, tourism, labor and social protection.
The sides also continued doing their best to minimize the spread of the coronavirus infection and its consequences.
As far as the agenda of the summit is concerned, it includes such important topics as the development of cooperation in ensuring biological security, in the fields of migration, protection of the voting power and guarantees of electoral sovereignty of the CIS member states.
“The updated agreement on preventing the legalization (laundering) of income obtained by illegal means, financing of terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction fully meets the demands of the time,” the head of state remarked.
The draft agreement on the formation of the CIS Council of Heads of Supreme (Superior) Courts aims to expand the functions and powers of the judicial system in modern realities.
The CIS leaders also need to determine the cultural capital of the CIS in 2023.
“Belarus has been and will be an active participant of regional integration associations. We reaffirm that today,” the Belarusian leader stressed.
The head of state thanked Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan for the co-presidency in the Commonwealth and all the CIS countries for helping Belarus cope with its presidency. “I am convinced that by joint efforts we will have our plans implemented by the end of the year for the benefit of our countries and peoples,” he said.