Events

Matviyenko: Russia and Belarus have special relations; our task is to preserve and develop them

The Federation Council Speaker met with the Speaker of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus


Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko met with Speaker of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus Natalya Kochanova.

The parties discussed the development of inter-parliamentary and interregional cooperation. Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko noted the high level of collaboration between the two countries’ heads of state as well as Russian and Belarusian parliamentarians.

“Russia and Belarus have special relations; our task is to preserve and develop them,” Valentina Matviyenko said.

According to her, the legal infrastructure of Russian-Belarusian relations comprises over 220 interstate and intergovernmental agreements and treaties. “Work is underway to harmonise our countries’ laws in all areas of bilateral cooperation,” the Speaker noted.

She also spoke about issues related to parliamentary diplomacy and cooperation within the CIS Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, the CSTO Parliamentary Assembly and other parliamentary associations. “The Parliamentary Assembly of Russia and Belarus plays a special role in inter-parliamentary cooperation. The 20 years of Russian and Belarusian deputies’ work at the Parliamentary Assembly can be called unique,” the Speaker stressed.

Strengthening interregional relations is an important element of economic cooperation. Over 50 Russian regions maintain stable ties with Belarus, and the legal infrastructure of about 200 agreements is constantly expanding, Valentina Matviyenko noted.

She believes that the two countries’ annual regional forum is an essential platform for promoting interregional and border cooperation. “Active preparations are underway for the Seventh Forum of Russian and Belarusian Regions.”

Valentina Matviyenko also focused on the upcoming 75th anniversary of the Great Victory. “Roads of Military Glory 1941–1945, the first cartographic military history atlas to be published in the Union State, will come out on 9 May 2020. I believe this reaffirms that the brotherly friendship and neighbourliness bequeathed to us by our fathers and grandfathers serve as the firm foundation of our countries’ relations today,” the Speaker stressed.

She called on her Belarusian colleagues to work together at international parliamentary platforms to counter attempts to rewrite history.

Valentina Matviyenko congratulated Natalya Kochanova on her election as speaker of the Belarusian parliament’s upper chamber and invited her to take part in the Third Eurasian Women’s Forum scheduled to be held in St Petersburg in 2021.

Natalya Kochanova noted that the two countries shared centuries of common history and rich culture. She said that Belarus praised Russian parliamentarians’ role in developing and strengthening integration between the two countries. She expressed her interest in developing and expanding the formats of inter-parliamentary ties both bilaterally and at international platforms.

The meeting was also attended by Federation Council Deputy Speaker and Russia’s Co-Chair of the Inter-Parliamentary Commission of the Federation Council and the Council of the Republic on Interregional Cooperation Yury Vorobyov, Chair of the Federation Council Committee on Defence and Security Viktor Bondarev, Chair of the Federation Council Committee on Science, Education and Culture Lilia Gumerova, Chair of the Federation Council Committee on Social Policy Inna Svyatenko, First Deputy Chair of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs Vladimir Dzhabarov, First Deputy Chair of the Federation Council Committee on Science, Education and Culture Grigory Karasin, First Deputy Chair of the Federation Council Committee on Defence and Security Sergei Martynov, First Deputy Chair of the Federation Council Committee on Federal Structure, Regional Policy, Local Government and Northern Affairs Andrei Shevchenko, member of the Federation Council Committee on Economic Policy Alexei Dmitriyenko and Russian Ambassador to Belarus Dmitry Mezentsev.

Later that day, Valentina Matviyenko and Federation Council members took part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Hero City of Minsk monument.

On 5–6 March, the Federation Council delegation led by Speaker Valentina Matviyenko will be in Belarus on an official visit. The delegation has plans to meet with the Belarusian leadership and Belarusian parliamentarians.