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26 November 2021, 15:18

Kochanova: Belarus is wrongly accused of creating migrant crisis

MINSK, 26 November (BelTA) – Belarus' parliamentary delegation headed by Chairwoman of the Council of the Republic Natalya Kochanova took part in the 53rd plenary session of the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS IPA), BelTA has learned.

The delegation included Sergei Sivets, a member of the Presidium of the Council of the Republic, Feliks Yashkov, a member of the Council of the Republic, and Valentin Semenyako, a member of the House of Representatives.

The MPs adopted a joint statement of the CIS IPA, the IOM Vienna Regional Office and the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe "On legislative measures to ensure labor migration during the pandemic", which proposes universal measures and guarantees for migrant workers in the field of social protection and health.

"The topic of our joint statement is extremely important and relevant. People of different ethnicities and faiths live in peace and harmony in Belarus. But we could have never imagined that we would face a serious migrant situation on the border of Belarus with the European Union, which could become explosive. Our country is wrongly accused of creating a migrant crisis. We are barraged with fake stories, lies and misinformation. Belarus is not the cause and source of this problem," Natalya Kochanova said.

The speaker noted that people are fleeing the Middle Eastern countries, war and poverty and are making their way to the European Union that promised them a better future.

“Citizens of Belarus, senators, MPs, public associations are outraged by the prejudiced attitude towards Belarus on the part of European countries. We have repeatedly appealed to all European organizations, to fellow parliamentarians. Yet, unfortunately, to be honest, they do not really hear us. Moreover, with great concern we learned about the inclusion in the tentative agenda of the 143rd Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union that is kicking off in Madrid today, an emergency item about suppression of trafficking in persons, ending human rights violations and work towards free and fair elections in Belarus. This item was sponsored by the delegations of Germany, Latvia, the Netherlands and Poland. How cynical it is that meanwhile Poland is using force against peaceful refugees, dousing them with water cannons, throwing tear gas, stun grenades and chemicals,” Natalya Kochanova said.

The Investigative Committee of Belarus opened a criminal case under the article “Crime against Security of Humankind”. A total of 132 victims were identified, including women and children. “People were at the border in inhuman conditions, freezing and starving. On the instructions of the president of Belarus, we created satisfactory living conditions for them. Special attention is paid to the health of people,” Natalya Kochanova said.

“Our long-suffering country that lost every third resident during the Great Patriotic War knows the price of peace and calm. We are not ready for a war on our territory started through someone else's fault. Yet, we cannot leave people in dire straits, and we will continue to support these disadvantaged refugees using our own resources,” the chairperson of the Council of Republic added.

It is very important that the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly raises issues related to migrants, the legal regulation of their status and activities in our countries and other states. This work of all the CIS bodies, including our parliamentary organization, deserves support and gratitude. On part of the Interparliamentary Assembly we have an opportunity to present our position to the world community and expect to be heard,” she said.

The participants of the meeting also considered the model laws “On Equal Access to Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment of HIV Infection in the CIS Countries”, “On Organ Donation” and “On Evaluation Activity”.

Member of the Council of the Republic Feliks Yashkov presented documents on defense and security. They included the recommendations on the integration of norms of the international humanitarian law into the directive documents of the armed forces, the system of military professional education and training of troops (forces) of the CIS member states and also the model assessment methodology for initiatives in the regulation of the circulation of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors.

The new wording of the Provision on the IPA Standing Commissions - one of the main documents regulating the activities of the IPA CIS and its bodies - was approved at the meeting. Sergei Sivets, a member of the Presidium of the Council of the Republic, gave a speech on the issue. Belarus made substantive proposals on the necessity to fix the algorithm of leadership distribution in standing commissions among the parliaments and introduce equal representation of deputy chairpersons of standing commissions. The proposals were taken into account.

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