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Opinions & Interviews

16 Sep 2016

Belarus president against downgrading CIS to fringe discussion platform

Belarus president against downgrading CIS to fringe discussion platform

BISHKEK, 16 September (BelTA) – The optimization process should not convert the Commonwealth of Independent States into a fringe discussion platform. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko made the statement in his speech during the session of the CIS Heads of State Council in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on 16 September, BelTA has learned.

At the beginning of his speech Alexander Lukashenko noted that the jubilee summit would allow the countries to look back at what had been achieved and compare notes for the future. Moreover, results of the work to modernize the Commonwealth of Independent States in the last 12 months would be summed up today, he said.

“It is my pleasure to support the idea of preserving the Commonwealth of Independent States as an international organization with all the attributes the status gives. It would be unwise to lose what we have gained in this period,” Alexander Lukashenko was convinced. “Belarus initially believed that personnel optimization and stricter financial discipline — it must be definitely done — should not convert the CIS into a peripheral discussion platform. We are in favor of preserving effective mechanisms for executing interstate decisions.”

Belarus president against downgrading CIS to fringe discussion platformThe head of state pointed out that the inability to resolve certain issues had prompted the CIS reforms. “We understand that, if not reformed, the CIS should at least be updated to meet modern realities. It is a fact. It is unlikely we will be able to step up cooperation within the framework of the Commonwealth of Independent States and use the platform to deal with more complicated issues. We have to admit it. We will not be able to do it due to subjective and objective reasons. Times have changed. A number of other associations have emerged, including in the post-Soviet space, where the majority of the heads of state I see here are represented. They are satisfied with it. It is one of the objective reasons,” noted the Belarusian leader.

According to the President, the Commonwealth of Independent States should be adjusted to match modern realities. “I support everyone and, most of all, Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who say that we should seriously look at ourselves, at the structure and decide what avenues we should explore, including personnel composition,” stated Alexander Lukashenko. “We have to prune the excessive things that don’t work because times have changed.”

Yet the Belarusian head of state said he believes that the CIS nicely fits the integration system in the post-Soviet space and has become a good platform, including for bilateral meetings. “All the heads of state, who are present here, never get tired of saying that the CIS fits this integration process as a platform for our discussions and statements. I sometimes compare it to G20, which session took place a short while ago. It is likely that the G20 session did not pass concrete decisions but instead made statements that determine the development strategy of the mankind, our planet at least for the foreseeable future. We do roughly the same in the CIS. More than that, we make concrete decisions on things we don’t disagree,” stressed the President.

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