Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC)
Comment by the Information and Press Department on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s attendance at the 35th BSEC Ministerial Meeting
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will participate in the 35th Meeting of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Organisation of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), which will be held in Belgrade, Serbia, on December 13.
The BSEC foreign ministers will discuss the results of Serbia’s BSEC chairmanship, the strengthening of BSEC finances, preparations to celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2017, ways to enhance its effectiveness and related reform initiatives, the work of BSEC’s sectoral auxiliary bodies, and the development of project cooperation.
The Black Sea countries have always been major economic and political partners for Russia. The further development of multilateral ties within the BSEC framework will help strengthen our relations, as well as stability and security in the Black Sea region.
We see the BSEC as the only full-scale regional economic organisation in the Black Sea region where regional countries can promote cooperation in various economic sectors through concerted efforts.
According to its Foreign Policy Concept, Russia is interested in further improving the BSEC in compliance with its Charter and the strengthening of its institutional foundations. We consider it important to continue working within the existing format and to preserve the BSEC’s mandate as approved at its establishment. Russia stands for preserving the depoliticised nature of the organisation’s activities with a view to preventing confrontation that would be destructive to its goals and objectives.
We are convinced that the BSEC’s success depends on focusing on attaining practical results and implementing mutually beneficial projects, such as the coordinated development of land and sea transport routes, trade and energy initiatives, social projects and cooperation to eliminate the consequences of emergencies.
In his July 1 remarks on the end of Russia’s BSEC chairmanship, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced a Russian initiative for a mechanism to fund projects in the Black Sea region. The Russian Government has allocated $1 million for this purpose. On November 18, Deputy Foreign Minister Vasily Nebenzya, acting on behalf of the Russian Government, signed a Donor Agreement with the BSEC Secretariat and the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB). The use of this facility by the other BSEC member states would have an additional positive effect on strengthening the BSEC’s project potential.