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3 Jun 2019

Belarus invites Slovakia to expand cooperation in Visegrad Group

Belarus invites Slovakia to expand cooperation in Visegrad Group

MINSK, 3 June (BelTA) – Belarus invites Slovakia to step up cooperation within the Visegrad Group and to expand interparliamentary contacts. The matter was in focus of the meeting between Chairman of the House of Representatives of Belarus Vladimir Andreichenko and Speaker of the National Council of the Slovak Republic Andrej Danko on 3 June, BelTA has learned.

The speakers discussed ways to intensify interparliamentary contacts. Vladimir Andreichenko suggested “a more active interaction within the Visegrad Group” as he addressed the speaker of the National Council of the Slovak Republic. Vladimir Andreichenko believes that the parties could joint efforts to launch mutually beneficial projects.

The Belarusian parliament is satisfied with its level of interaction with Slovakia in international platforms, including the OSCE PA. Vladimir Andreichenko believes that the parties should keep promoting cooperation in this field. He suggested establishing direct contacts between specific parliamentary commissions. “We could make it all the way to a cooperation roadmap. In the near future we can sign an agreement or a memorandum of cooperation between the parliaments of Belarus and Slovakia,” Vladimir Andreichenko said.

He assured his Slovak counterpart of Belarus’ very good attitude to Slovakia and its people. He emphasized that Belarus is interested in expanding mutually beneficial and long-term cooperation with Slovakia and the EU in general. “We view the European Union as a powerful integration platform, and we treat Slovakia as one of like-minded nations,” he said. Vladimir Andreichenko thanked Slovakia for its contribution to normalizing relations between Belarus and the European Union.

The speaker of the National Council of the Slovak Republic said that he is ready to promote a greater involvement of the Belarusian parliament in the events of the Visegrad Group. Andrej Danko shared the opinion of his Belarusian counterpart about the need to intensify the work of the parliamentary friendship groups. “It would be great to arrange bilateral meetings of certain commissions as early as August,” he added.

The parties discussed cooperation prospects in trade, economy, investment and humanitarian field. In 2018 the bilateral trade rose to $218 million. The growth continues through 2019. The parties agreed to use the parliamentary dimension more actively in order to cement this trend. The focus will be made on pharmaceutics, nuclear energy, optics, healthcare, education, and implementation of investment projects.

The Visegrad Group is an alliance of four states: Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. It was set up in Hungary’s Visegrad on 15 February 1991. The alliance seeks to promote cooperation in Central Europe at all levels and in all possible forms and to further the interests of these countries in the EU.

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