1 July 201612:05

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks at the 34th meeting of the BSEC Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Sochi, July 1, 2016

1240-01-07-2016

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Mr Secretary General,

Colleagues,

I am pleased to welcome you to the opening of the 34th meeting of the  Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Organisation of Black Sea Economic Cooperation in Sochi.

Russia and the states of the Black Sea Region are bound by a centuries-long history of political, trade and human contacts, and the interpenetration of cultures. Based on these ties, we continue to advance further to jointly promote mutually beneficial cooperation and tap its considerable economic potential.

The Organisation of Black Sea Economic Cooperation is an important mechanism for joint effort. During almost 25 years of its fruitful activities, it has by right  established itself as a much-needed platform for progressive development of diverse cooperation in the Black Sea Region.

Russia, which stood at the BSEC origins, attaches much importance to bolstering cooperation within the organisation and consistently advocates the depoliticised nature of its work. Our priority is to address practical issues in  areas defined by the BSEC Charter in the interests of increasing the competitiveness of our economies for the benefit of  citizens of our countries.

I hope that today’s meeting will be held in a constructive spirit and will make a useful contribution to enhancing the Organisation’s effectiveness.

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