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22 Jan 2018

Belarus commends CIS IPA’s work

MINSK, 22 January (BelTA) – Speaker of the Council of the Republic of Belarus’ National Assembly Mikhail Myasnikovich commended the work of the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly as he met with Acting Secretary General of the CIS IPA Council Sergei Antufyev on 22 January, BelTA informs.

“Belarus commends the work of the CIS IPA. In this regard, there is a possible explanation to some criticism of this organization. When it is not working properly, why criticize it? On the other hand, when it is doing something, it is urged to do more,” the speaker said.

The CIS IPA’s work was discussed by the CIS Heads of State Council in Sochi in September 2017, he recalled. “Back then, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko offered constructive criticism. Some proposals were brought forward to improve the work of the assembly as the key parliamentary organization in the CIS,” Mikhail Myasnikovich added. Later on, the CIS IPA held a session in St Petersburg to consider specific proposals. According to Mikhail Myasnikovich, they were constructively accepted by colleagues from other CIS countries. The speaker offered Sergei Antufyev to discuss ways to put these proposals into practice during today’s meeting.

Mikhail Myasnikovich named two sets of subjects of greatest interest to Belarus on the CIS IPA's agenda. The first one is about developing model legislation. “As for the effort within the CIS framework, we need to strive for harmonizing and unifying the existing laws and the ones to be adopted. In this context, the assembly is of invaluable help as it works out model laws in certain fields,” Mikhail Myasnikovich remarked.

The second field of concern is election monitoring. “We have to state that the new independent countries have many so-called helpers and well-wishers in the Council of Europe and other organizations, who are very concerned about the compliance with democratic approaches at elections of different levels, as if this is not what we aim for. We ourselves are striving for absolute compliance, in the first place. The reports that the CIS IPA Secretariat and the assembly in general prepare while monitoring the elections in the CIS member states are very thorough. They are meant not only for some Western organizations but also for us because such careful expert assessment helps outline some gaps in the national legislation or at least in the law enforcement practices,” the speaker clarified.

He reassured that Belarus will make every effort to help the CIS IPA Council work in a constructive and meaningful way. “We hope for mutual understanding,” he summarized.

In turn, Sergei Antufyev thanked Mikhail Myasnikovich for his friendly and high opinion of the CIS IPA. “During my tenure in Smolensk Oblast, I always kept in contact with our neighbors – Vitebsk Oblast and Mogilev Oblast. I have been to Minsk on an official visit. We have been received by Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko. We have signed an agreement on social and economic development. This is why for me visiting Belarus means visiting my friends and family. You have said that the criticism voiced at the meeting of the CIS heads of state in Sochi should be viewed as an assessment of the CIS IPA’s work. In this regard, I would like to recall a quotation by Nikolai Ostrovsky: ‘Beware of indifference’. You were right when you said: what is the organization doing if no one is interested in it and no one has any claims? This is why I share the same opinion as you,” Sergei Antufyev noted.

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