Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's statement to the media following a meeting with President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, Minsk, November 26, 2020
I have just finished a conversation with President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko who reaffirmed his commitment to the agreements earlier reached at the highest level between our countries, primarily on the comprehensive strengthening of our allied, strategic ties in all spheres.
We have also talked about our foreign policy cooperation and the implementation of the Union State programme of coordinated foreign policy actions for 2020-2021. This programme is regularly adopted and reapproved by the two heads of state. Today we will hold a joint collegium meeting of the foreign ministries of Russia and Belarus. This is an essential part of joint diplomatic work, in addition to the annual exchange of visits between the foreign ministers. I would like to note similar patterns in practically every area of our interstate cooperation. A joint meeting will also be held between the collegiums of the ministries of culture, which is important for promoting person-to-person contacts, and humanitarian exchanges. We strongly support this.
We have discussed the CSTO activities. In a few days, the Council of Foreign Ministers will meet, followed by a meeting of the Collective Security Council at the level of heads of state. Russia is currently chairing the CSTO and will step down at this summit. The Republic of Belarus now heads the EAEU; we highly appreciate the initiatives and steps taken by Minsk in this capacity to advance our multilateral integration. At the next stage, the Republic of Belarus will take over the chairmanship of the CIS. We have exchanged views on the priorities that our friends will be promoting as part of that. We support them and believe that all this will benefit cooperation within the CIS.
We have touched upon the current relations between us and the West, NATO, the EU, and the United States. Frankly, we can see a hostile attitude towards Russia and Belarus. We have encountered some attempts to influence internal processes in our countries. Western leaders are not hiding this. They adopt documents on promoting democracy – there is one concerning Russia, too. Now the US Congress is reviewing such a document on the Republic of Belarus. We take it calmly. We have a Union State. We have something we can use to defend ourselves, defend our independence. This is the shared approach of our presidents and governments.