19 June 201823:03

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at a meeting of the Supreme State Council of the Union State of Russia and Belarus, Minsk, June 19, 2018

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Colleagues,

Close foreign policy coordination within the Union State is becoming increasingly important in light of persistent global tensions. The United States and its allies do not hesitate to interfere, including with military force, in the internal affairs of sovereign states. We are deeply concerned about the deployment of the US global ballistic missile defence system and the simultaneous amendment of US doctrines with a provision on lowering the nuclear threshold. Of special concern is the build-up of NATO’s military infrastructure and activity on the borders with Russia and the Republic of Belarus. The US unilateral withdrawal from the agreements on Iran’s nuclear programme is proof of the US administration’s disregard for its international legal commitments, let alone its political declarations and promises.

In this difficult situation, our foreign policy departments maintain close and constant contact and are working on joint practical measures. We highly appreciate the fact that our Belarusian colleagues took our side during the voting on the controversial resolutions on Crimea at the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly and at the session of the UNESCO Executive Board, as well as  Georgia’s draft resolution that exploited the problem of refugees from Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Our Belarusian friends joined us to firmly and unambiguously condemn the missile strikes delivered by the United States, Britain and France at Syria in April this year. Not all members of the international community chose to act independently and provide a principled response to that gross violation of international law.

The new programme of concerted foreign policy actions for 2018−2019 will ensure continuity in the key areas. The most important of them are closer cooperation in the CSTO and other integration structures, a common policy at the UN, the OSCE, the OPCW and other international organisations, joint work on European security issues, including relations with NATO and the EU, and on resisting new challenges and threats, as well as multilateral cooperation in the humanitarian and law enforcement areas. Our common priority is to provide diplomatic support to the EAEU, to enhance its international prestige and to create a greater European partnership involving member states of the EAEU, the SCO, ASEAN and, in the long run, hopefully also the EU.

In keeping with an initiative of our foreign ministries, we have drafted collective instructions for the heads of the EAEU member states’ foreign diplomatic offices aimed at coordinating their public awareness campaigns regarding integration in our common space. We ask the Supreme State Council to approve the joint foreign policy action programme for 2018−2019.

 

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