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Belarus attends OSCE PA winter meeting

MINSK, 22 February (BelTA) – A delegation of Belarus led by Vice Speaker of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly Viktor Guminsky is taking part in the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s 12th Winter Meeting in Vienna on 21-22 February, BelTA learnt from the press service of the House of Representatives.

Ahead of the meeting Viktor Guminsky met with Chair of the OSCE PA Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions Matteo Mecacci (Italy) to discuss further cooperation in the issues within the purview of the committee.

In his speech at the meeting of the OSCE PA Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions to discuss freedom of the media, Viktor Guminsky stressed the necessity of looking into the media freedom issue both to the east and west from Vienna. Viktor Guminsky took note of a great degree of subjectivity in assessing the situation in many countries and the use of double standards. He reminded the participants of the meeting of an unallowable approach taken by the EU to impose visa sanctions on some Belarusian journalists which goes in breach of the OSCE commitments to the freedom of the media.

The Belarusian delegation took part in a meeting of the heads of the CSTO parliamentary delegations in the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly to discuss cooperation of parliamentary delegations in the preparations for the OSCE PA annual meeting slated for 29 June-3 July 2013 in Istanbul.

Belarusian representatives also met with the OSCE PA Vice President, head of the Croatian parliamentary delegation in the OSCE PA Tonino Picula. The parties outlined a wide range of initiatives aimed at advancing bilateral cooperation including in the economic sector. Partaking in the meeting was Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to Austria and Croatia on concurrent Valery Voronetsky.

During Special Debates of the OSCE PA General Committees on Political Affairs and Security, as well as on Economic Affairs, Science, Technology and Environment, the Belarusian delegation spoke in favor of shaping a security community (Helsinki +40 initiative) and the initiative on OSCE transition to green economy.