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28 Apr 2017

Makei: Belarus is promoting initiative on CSTO partnership institute

MINSK, 28 April (BelTA) – Belarus is promoting an initiative on setting up a partnership institute of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), Belarus’ Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei said in an interview to the Mir Television and Radio Company.

“Belarus’ next initiative, and we are actively promoting it, is to set up the CSTO partnership institute to develop closer and stronger relations with third countries. Many countries are interested in the cooperation with the CSTO as they face the same challenges and problems as our organization. First of all, this is terrorism which knows no boundaries. That is why we are developing this partnership institute and plan to involve third countries that show an interest in it,” said Vladimir Makei.

The minister spoke about other CSTO foreign political coordination tasks on which Belarus is going to work during its presidency in the organization. “In our opinion, close cooperation between the CSTO member states at different levels is of crucial importance today. Here, we will be working on strengthening our foreign political, coordinating our steps in the international arena. The primary area is the coordination of the foreign political activity during our presidency in the organization. The second area is a stronger positioning of the CSTO in the international arena. I have already mentioned that the CSTO has an observer status in the UN General Assembly. We will continue promoting the image of our organization in the international field and strengthening our cooperation with the United Nations and the OSCE. We suggested including the corresponding measures into the action plan for 2017. Besides, we are determined to continue developing the military side of our organization,” he added. Vladimir Makei mentioned the plans to attach more attention to regulating regional conflicts within the CSTO responsibility zone.

The minister also spoke about Belarus’ relations with NATO. “I do not know why but NATO and representatives of some of our and NATO neighboring countries are extremely concerned about the forthcoming Belarus-Russia military exercise Zapad 2017 (West 2017). They consider this exercise to be of an aggressive nature. They believe this exercise envisages an attack on some neighboring states. Belarus has never threatened and will never threaten anyone. We are a state which does not create problems to others. We are a state that makes its contribution to the stability and safety in the region. Belarus is the only state in the post-Soviet space which has seen no armed conflicts. We have no territorial claims. We will stick to this line. We believe that the warlike rhetoric, which can lead us to the times of the ‘cold war’, should be replaced by normal, diplomatic methods of addressing issues, including those in the security and military area. Only in this way will we be able to reach understanding and remove any existing concerns,” he stressed.

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