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Opinions & Interviews

6 Apr 2017

Lukashenko: CIS participation should be interesting for all member states

Lukashenko: CIS participation should be interesting for all member states

MINSK, 6 April (BelTA) – We cannot lose the CIS, by the participation should be interesting for all member states, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said in an interview with the Interstate Television and Radio Company Mir on 6 April, BelTA has learned.

The head of state said that various integration associations exist on the post-Soviet space today. In some of them the countries have closer relations, in others they have less close cooperation. The President described these processes as multi-level integration.

“By the way, the European Union now starts using this term. You see that a more progressive association, group of big states is formed there to support others. And they also use the term ‘multilevel integration’,” Alexander Lukashenko remarked. “Our situation is the same. Those who wanted to stay in the CIS stayed in it. Those who wanted to leave it, like Georgia, left it. In fact, Ukraine has, in fact, put its participation in the CIS on hold, although not permanently, and visits the summits from time to time. But we have agreed that we cannot lose this platform.”

“To spark interest and enhance the CIS, we have decided to encourage member states to step up their efforts in the organization. We have signed a free trade zone agreement, enhanced our cooperation. Now we should, let us say, sign an agreement on the free movement of services. To a certain extend we have already done it in the EurAsEC and the Union State. The experience of interaction at various levels was useful. The CIS member states should be also interested in their participation,” the President is convinced.

Alexander Lukashenko stressed that every country wants to benefit from the participation in integration associations. However, the states should proceed with care. “You should not try to benefit at the expense of your neighbor. You will benefit from something, they will benefit from something else, there will be mutual concessions. But benefits are essential. It may seem mercantile, but if it is not beneficial, no one will need such a union and any steps in this direction,” he said. “Russia is looking for some benefits, Belarusians and Kazakhs are doing the same, and so on and so forth. But we have found beneficial issues. The economy is the main thing. The economy is a very strong connection. This is within the framework of the CIS.”

The Interstate Television and Radio Company Mir was founded in 1992 for the coverage of the political, economic, and humanitarian cooperation of the CIS member states, formation of the common information space and promotion of the international exchange of information.

Mir TV channel informs its audience about the modern life and history of the post-Soviet space. There is 24/7 broadcast in three time zones on the territory of 13 states (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia). The potential audience exceeds 130 million people.

The televised version of the interview will be shown on 7 April.

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