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30 Aug 2019

Belarus considering expanding interparliamentary contacts with Northern Europe

Belarus considering expanding interparliamentary contacts with Northern Europe
Dmitry Mironchik and Valery Voronetsky. Photos courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

MINSK, 30 August (BelTA) – Belarus is considering the possibility of expanding interparliamentary contacts with Northern Europe countries, representatives of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs told BelTA.

These matters were discussed as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to Sweden Dmitry Mironchik visited Norway. Dmitry Mironchik is Belarus’ non-resident ambassador to Norway. Upon the invitation of President of the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference Jorodd Asphjell the ambassador and Chairman of the International Affairs Commission of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus Valery Voronetsky took part in the 28th session of the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference (BSPC).

The session took place in the Norwegian parliament. Participants of the session discussed the expansion of cooperation in the Baltic Sea region, interaction within the framework of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS), sustainable ecological and social and economic development, partnership in the area of healthcare and social security within the framework of the Northern Dimension, matters of employment and labor market development.

Belarus’ representatives met with the President of the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference, member of the Norwegian parliament Jorodd Asphjell, Director General of the Permanent International Secretariat of the Council of the Baltic Sea States Maira Mora, and members of national delegations. Prospects of expanding interparliamentary contacts with Northern Europe countries were discussed as well as the state of interaction between the Belarusian parliament and the Council of the Baltic Sea States. Steps meant to enhance mutual trust and make cooperation systemic were also mentioned.

In Oslo the Belarusian ambassador had a number of working meetings. In particular, he met with Anne-Kirsti Karlsen, Director of the Section for Russia, Eurasia and Regional Cooperation in the Department for Security Policy and the High North of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway. The sides discussed a wide range of matters of bilateral cooperation, the schedule for forthcoming contacts between the Belarusian and Norwegian ministries of foreign affairs. Progress in expanding the legal base was also mentioned. The sides mentioned with satisfaction progress in expanding the area of cooperation and hailed growing bilateral trade. Bilateral trade reached $140.6 million in H1 2019 (6.3% up) and demonstrates a balance of exports and imports.

Dmitry Mironchik also met with Dag Nylander, Director of the Section for Peace and Reconciliation in the Department for Regional Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway. The ambassador mentioned Belarus’ interest in studying Norway’s extensive experience of assisting with the resolution of armed conflicts. The sides agreed to continue working together in the area. The ambassador also met with representatives of the ministry’s Department for UN and Humanitarian Affairs and the non-governmental organization Norwegian People’s Aid. Norway’s experience in the sphere of humanitarian mine clearance was discussed.

Dmitry Mironchik also took part in an event of the Norwegian-Russian Chamber of Commerce. The Belarusian ambassador and Non-Resident Ambassador of Norway to Belarus Ole Terje Horpestad informed representatives of the private sector about the state of bilateral relations while focusing on positive dynamics of trade and economic cooperation. Opportunities available to Norwegian companies thanks to the gradual improvement of the business climate in Belarus, the country’s membership in the Eurasian Economic Union, and progress in negotiations on joining the WTO were highlighted. An agreement was reached with the Norwegian-Russian Chamber of Commerce on arranging joint events to advance mutually beneficial economic ties.

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