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16 May 2016

Belarus calls for streamlining CIS

MINSK, 16 May (BelTA) – We should streamline the structure of the CIS to make the organization more relevant to the needs of the member states, Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei told reporters after the meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on 16 May, BelTA has learned.

Vladimir Makei said Sergei Lavrov and he discussed ways to make maximum use of Russia’s and Belarus’ membership in integration organizations and strengthen cooperation with third countries taking into account the interests of all the Eurasian Economic Union member states. “We also talked about ways to streamline the CIS and improve its work. Our views on the matter coincide. The CIS should remain a functional organization,” the Belarusian official stressed. He pointed out that the structure of the CIS should be adjusted in a way to make it more relevant to the needs of the member states.

The head of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the meeting also discussed cooperation in international organizations. “Together with Russia, we are working persistently and consistently to promote a set of universal values in the international arena,” Vladimir Makei noted. He added that Belarus supports Russia’s disarmament initiatives in international organizations.

As for the situation in eastern Ukraine, Vladimir Makei said that both he and his Russian counterpart believe that the Minsk agreements are the only effective mechanism for restoring peace and stability. “We also appreciate Russia’s efforts to curb terrorism in the Middle East,” the Belarusian Minister said. He added that Belarus believes that today there is no alternative to the inter-Syrian political dialogue.

Vladimir Makei noted that in 2017 Belarus and Russia will mark the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. In this context, the parties discussed celebration events to be held next year.

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