Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC)
Press release on the meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers and the meeting of the Committee of Senior Officials of the Organisation of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation
On July 1, the 34th meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of the Organisation of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) chaired by Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov was held in Sochi.
The participants included delegations of member countries led by their respective foreign ministers, Secretary General of the BSEC Permanent International Secretariat Michael Christidis, representatives of the BSEC Parliamentary Assembly, the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank, the International Centre for Black Sea Studies, international financial institutions, senior officials of the Krasnodar Territory, as well as representatives of the countries and organisations with the BSEC observer status.
In the run-up to the ministerial council, a meeting of the BSEC Committee of Senior Officials (CSO) was held in Sochi on June 29-30.
These meetings completed Russia’s six-month (January-June) BSEC chairmanship.
Speaking before the participants, Sergey Lavrov noted the importance of the BSEC as a mature and important regional organisation, whose 25th anniversary will be celebrated in 2017. The minister re-affirmed the course on further improvement of the BSEC, which is stated in Russia’s Foreign Policy Concept, based on compliance with its Charter and consolidation of the institutional framework.
During the course of its chairmanship, Russia has accomplished quite a lot by holding six industry-specific ministerial meetings and dozens of other functions, which highlighted the constructive approach of member countries to promoting all spheres of cooperation in the Black Sea region.
The participants discussed the proposals designed to strengthen the BSEC financial base with an eye towards developing project cooperation, summed up the specific industries’ performance, and reviewed a number of organisational and procedural matters.
Decisions were made regarding the 25th BSEC anniversary, which will be a good occasion to take stock of the organisation's activities during this period, and to harmonise steps designed to take cooperation to a new level.
The participants announced the launch of the Project Cooperation Promotion Facility in the Black Sea region based on a Cooperation Agreement between the BSEC Secretariat and the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank. It is designed to develop projects in renewable energy and energy efficiency, green technology, small- and medium-sized businesses, and to enhance regional and municipal infrastructure.
Minister Lavrov announced the Russian Government’s decision to release up to $1 million as a voluntary contribution to finance this facility.
The Memorandum of Understanding between the BSEC and the International Congress of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs was signed.
The participants praised Russia's efforts to establish interaction between the BSEC with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (ABII) and the Silk Road Foundation (SRF) in order to implement a number of infrastructure projects in the Black Sea region.
The chairmanship for the next six months went from Russia to Serbia.
The first BSEC member country motorcycle event was held in Sochi in the run-up to the meeting.