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23 May 2016

Belarus-PACE rapprochement welcomed

MINSK, 23 May (BelTA) – The rapprochement between Belarus and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) was welcomed during a meeting with PACE President Pedro Agramunt, Vice Speaker of the Council of the Republic Anatoly Rusetsky told reporters at the conclusion of the meeting in St. Petersburg, BelTA has learned.

The meeting with Pedro Agramunt was organized on the sidelines of the CIS Inter-Parliamentary Assembly which was held in St. Petersburg on 18-20 May. It was the European colleagues who initiated the meeting, Anatoly Rusetsky said. “A number of issues were discussed, including the development of cooperation. It was noted that it is developing constructively now. There are positive dynamics in the rapprochement of our positions,” he noted.

“During the meeting it was emphasized that PACE would like Belarus to take an active part in its activities. I think that thanks to the interaction we will arrive at this result,” the Vice Speaker believes.

Meanwhile, he said, there remain a number of issues which are primarily raised by European partners. “But there is a mutual understanding that all issues should be solved constructively, through dialogue and optimal solutions. I invited the distinguished PACE President to visit Belarus, and he accepted the invitation,” Anatoly Rusetsky informed.

Anatoly Rusetsky and Pedro Agramunt also discussed the need to avoid the approaches which involve certain statements and ultimatums. As an example, the Vice Speaker mentioned the situation with the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant. Some MEPs question its safety. “I informed our colleagues that the Belarusian side fulfills all requirements for nuclear power plant construction. We are working together with the IAEA. Environmental impact assessment has been carried out,” Anatoly Rusetsky noted.

One of the key issues on the agenda of the CIS IPA session was the interaction with other international organizations. The event was attended by representative delegations, including President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union Saber Chowdhury, PACE President Pedro Agramunt, and President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Ilkka Kanerva. “All the leaders were unanimous in their opinion that the interaction with the CIS IPA and the countries that were part of the Soviet Union is very important and needs to be further developed,” Anatoly Rusetsky said.

Speaking about the meeting of the Fourth International Forum “Eurasian Economic Perspective” (held within the framework of the CIS IPA), Anatoly Rusetsky said that it discussed the prospects of expanding the Eurasian Economic Union through conclusion of free trade agreements with third countries. Meanwhile, the Vice Speaker said that some barriers and restrictions still remain in the Eurasian Economic Union, and that the MPs working in the EEU member states should be more actively engaged in addressing these issues. “As the Eurasian Economic Union has no parliamentary dimension, a greater use should be made of the CIS IPA,” he believes.

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