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Sergei Naryshkin’s visit to Belarus of great significance, Andreichenko says

MINSK, 26 June (BelTA) - The first official visit of the Head of the Russian State Duma to Minsk is of great importance for Belarus-Russia relations, Chairman of the House of Representatives of Belarus Vladimir Andreichenko noted as he met with Speaker of the State Duma of Russia Sergei Naryshkin, BelTA learnt.

Vladimir Andreichenko said that there is an intensive exchange of visits between the parliaments of the two states. “But it is the first official visit, which speaks volumes,” Vladimir Andreichenko underlined. He also noted that parliamentary relations considerably intensified. Not long ago Belarus and Russia marked the 20th anniversary of the diplomatic relations.

The Chairman of the House of Representatives believes that the Ambassadors of Russia and Belarus contribute greatly to the joint activities of the two parliaments. Vladimir Andreichenko underscored that Russia is Belarus’ strategic partner. With no other country does Belarus have such strong ties on the level of government bodies and public institutions, the Belarusian official added.

He also emphasized that the Union State project is successfully operating and has no analogues on the post-Soviet space. Belarus-Russia trade totaled $40 billion in 2011. Vladimir Andreichenko expressed hope that this figure will increase in 2012. He also said that the Union State made an important step having created conditions for equal rights for Belarus and Russia’s citizens. Besides, the Union State facilitated integration within the Customs Union.

“It is very important that we are discussing a parliamentary dimension of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU),” Vladimir Andreichenko added.

For his part, Sergei Naryshkin thanked his Belarusian counterpart for the invitation to pay an official visit to Minsk. “We highly appreciate our relations and cooperation between our states,” he said. Speaker of the Russian State Duma also underscored that it was not accidental that Russian President Vladimir Putin paid his first overseas visit to Belarus after assuming the presidential post. The Russian Federation considers Belarus an important strategic partner. Sergei Naryshkin thinks that the two countries’ cooperation plays a great role on the post-Soviet space. “Russia and Belarus show everybody the way,” he said.

“I am very thankful to you for in-principle support of the creation of the EEU parliamentary dimension,” Sergei Naryshkin noted. He expressed hope that in the next few months the MPs will come up with proposals on creating this parliamentary dimension and submit them to the Presidents of the Troika.