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13 May 2022, 19:21

Belarus-Russia cooperation in culture, science, sport discussed

MINSK, 13 May (BelTA) – Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Igor Petrishenko met with State Secretary of the Union State of Belarus and Russia Dmitry Mezentsev, BelTA has learned.

Igor Petrishenko said: “We actively advance cooperation in social and humanitarian affairs. A joint session of the boards of our sport ministries took place about one month ago where aspects relating to the sanction pressure were discussed as well as restrictions on Belarusian and Russian athletes. The restrictions already go beyond all international law norms and ethical norms. We agreed that we should enable a quality competition process for athletes between Belarus and Russia. We are also open to other countries, which show a friendly attitude towards us.”

In his words, a number of projects are being realized within the framework of the Union State of Belarus and Russia. They are related to the organization of competitions for Union State prizes, in particular, a biathlon competition. “Apart from that, we intend to arrange a junior grass hockey championship under the aegis of the Union State of Belarus and Russia in 2023 as well as competitions in other sports. We are now actively signing the relevant cooperation plans between sport federations of the two countries so that our athletes could get involved in the competition process as fast as possible. Apart from that, we intend to cross-invite Belarusian and Russian specialists to referee various sports,” the official said.

Igor Petrishenko also noted that a joint collegium is supposed to take place in St Petersburg next week to discuss education and science. “A meaningful discussion will be held on promoting competition avenues,” he added.

Apart from that, important events in the sphere of Belarus-Russia cultural interaction will be held. In particular, the traditional festival Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk. “We need to discuss the content of the festival, the organization of Union State Days during the festival, and the possibility of broadcasting the opening ceremony, the gala concert, and other contest days on Russian television,” Igor Petrishenko noted. “This year due to the lifting of restrictions and the stabilization of the COVID-19 situation we expect a large number of guests from the Russian Federation. People, who used to come to Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk in summer and haven't been able to do so for two years, would love to visit the festival this year.”

Another event is the Kupala Night Festival, which traditionally takes place in Alexandria one week before the Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk. “We also look forward to Russian guests at the festival, particularly from nearby regions – Smolensk Oblast, Bryansk Oblast, Pskov Oblast, and Leningrad Oblast,” the deputy prime minister stressed.

Igor Petrishenko also pointed out the need to resume contests for people with disabilities within the framework of the Union State of Belarus and Russia. “In particular, in Mogilev we intend to arrange a contest for kids with disabilities. About 300 guys and girls from Belarus and Russia will participate in it,” he said.

In turn, Dmitry Mezentsev said: “It is significant that today we are meeting on the eve of a joint collegium, which will take place at premises of the Kurchatov Institute. The matter of forming common infrastructure for fundamental and applied research of the Union State of Belarus and Russia will be raised during the session. The topic was already raised at a forum of regions. The realization of these approaches is being discussed via collegiums now.”

Dmitry Mezentsev said that an intergovernmental agreement in the sphere of science has been in effect since 1996. “Now the Russian Science and Education Ministry in association with the Belarusian side is preparing a proposal on working out a new agreement, which meets today's requirements and will add modern aspects without taking away what has been stipulated earlier. It will also correlate with 28 Union State programs,” the state secretary of the Union State of Belarus and Russia said.

Dmitry Mezentsev thanked the Belarusian government for the attention paid to the development of the Union State of Belarus and Russia.

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