Russian foreign minister to participate in CIS Foreign Ministers Council in Minsk

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will participate in a regular meeting of the Foreign Ministers Council of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), to discuss a broad range of international and regional issues with emphasis on security cooperation.

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said earlier that the ministers will exchange views on pressing international and regional issues, discuss the main areas of work, primarily in the Commonwealth format, with an emphasis on implementing the priorities of Russia’s presidency in the organization in 2024.

“Special attention is expected to be paid to increasing cooperation in the field of security in the CIS region, joint counteraction to traditional and new challenges and threats,” Zakharova said. “As well as cultural and humanitarian cooperation, including in the context of preparations for the year of the 80th anniversary of victory in the Great Patriotic War in the CIS in 2025.”

Without Mirzoyan’s participation

On April 8, it became known that Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan will not participate in the meeting.

The foreign ministry of Belarus told TASS that the event will be attended by delegation from eight foreign ministries plus the host nation.

“The delegations will be led mostly by ministers, but some nations will be represented by plenipotentiary deputy ministers, including the delegation of the foreign ministry of Armenia,” it said.

Russia’s six priorities

In an interview with TASS, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Pankin outlined six priorities of Russia’s forthcoming presidency in the CIS. They are “economic cooperation; foreign policy coordination; efforts to counter new challenges and threats; military cooperation; and the cultural and humanitarian space and cooperation within it; as well as, of course, expanding collaboration with our external partners around the world.”

The meeting in Minsk is expected to touch upon the issue of new challenges and threats. Two days before the conference, heads of CIS anti-terrorism centers met in Moscow to outline key areas for cooperation. At the very start of their talks, they strongly condemned the March 22 terror attack on the Crocus City Hall concert venue near Moscow. Talks on the subject are likely to continue in Minsk, too.

A number of joint statements are expected to be adopted during the talks. Certain documents, approved by the ministers, will be forwarded to national leaders for signing.

Meetings on sidelines

Apart from the CIS event, Lavrov is expected to participate in the seventh ministerial meeting in the format of Russia-Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan).

“Participants will discuss progress in the implementation of agreements, reached after the first Russia-Central Asia summit, held in Astana on October 14, 2022,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said. “An exchange of opinions on key international and regional issues is also expected. Special attention will be paid to environmental issues and prospects for cooperation on this important subject.

Source: Itar Tass

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