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Opinions & Interviews

8 Nov 2017

Belarus hopes to reach new level of cooperation with ICRC

Belarus hopes to reach new level of cooperation with ICRC

MINSK, 8 November (BelTA) – Belarus hopes that its interaction with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will enter a new level, Deputy Prime Minister Vasily Zharko noted as he met with ICRC President Peter Maurer on 8 November, BelTA has learned.

“I hope that the independent and unbiased work of your organization and its delegation in Minsk will help bring our interaction to a higher level,” Vasily Zharko said.

The vice prime minister pointed out that this is the first visit of Peter Maurer to Belarus. “Sure enough, it is essential for further development of cooperation between Belarus and the ICRC,” Vasily Zharko underlined. He thanked the ICRC and Peter Maurer in particular for the noble humanitarian mission to ease the suffering of people, protect their dignity, settle armed conflicts, and maintain peace.

“We welcome the current level of cooperation between the ICRC and the Belarus Red Cross. Over the last five years, the amount of relevant donations to Belarus exceeded $2.5 million, which helped us carry out a number of social projects to provide emergency assistance to citizens, search for missing persons, reunite families, and so on,” Vasily Zharko highlighted.

He took note of the constructive cooperation in assisting displaced persons from Ukraine, who Belarus received unconditionally and without hesitation. “In this regard, it is important to see the further involvement of the International Committee of the Red Cross in the work with illegal migrants detained in Belarus, including medical assistance, interaction in other important areas. It will be an organic addition to Belarus’ socially oriented policy, a key element of which is to protect and support vulnerable sections of the population,” the vice premier said.

Vasily Zharko also drew attention that international humanitarian law is implemented in Belarus at a high level. The country is one of the CIS leaders in this field. A relevant commission has been set up at the Council of Ministers. “We are very serious about the compliance with international obligations in terms of the dissemination of knowledge in this area, not only in the universities, the armed forces but also in our schools,” he said.

The deputy prime minister expressed confidence that the agreement regarding the status, privileges and immunities of the ICRC in Belarus which was signed in Minsk on 8 November will give a new impetus to mutually beneficial cooperation.

Peter Maurer, in turn, thanked Vasily Zharko for the meeting. According to him, the relations between Belarus and the International Committee of the Red Cross are evolving in a positive way. “We have considerably strengthened the relations with the Belarusian Red Cross Society and appreciate our joint work,” Peter Maurer added.


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