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Belarus' CIS Chairmanship concept provides for enhanced economic cooperation

MINSK, 4 January (BelTA) - During its Chairmanship in the CIS Belarus will deepen mutually beneficial cooperation in economy, trade and innovation, reads the concept of the Chairmanship of the Republic of Belarus in the Commonwealth of Independent States in 2013, BelTA learnt from the Foreign Ministry.

On 1 January 2013, the Republic of Belarus assumed the Chairmanship in the Commonwealth of Independent States. This decision was taken at the CIS Summit in Ashkhabad on 5 December 2012.

The priorities of Belarus’ Chairmanship include further strengthening of good-neighborliness and mutually advantageous cooperation in the former Soviet Union, raising the standards of living and welfare of citizens in the CIS countries, and building on the positive experience of the integration.

The motto of Belarus’ Chairmanship is "Integration for the good of people: strengthening of good-neighborly relations, developing environmental cooperation, promoting availability of ‘green’ technologies, expanding the dialogue of cultures.”

In 2013 Belarus will chair the CIS Council of Heads of State, Heads of Government Council, Council of Foreign Ministers, Economic Council, council of permanent representatives of CIS member states and the Commission for Economic Affairs at the CIS Economic Council.

The Foreign Ministry stressed that the Chairmanship of the Republic of Belarus in the Commonwealth of Independent States will be based on the principle of continuity, in strict compliance with the statutory and policy documents of the CIS and will be aimed to develop coordinated approaches to addressing current issues of regional cooperation.

Improving the CIS image on the international arena and within the Commonwealth, expanding interaction between the government agencies the CIS member states with other states and integration entities will further enhance good-neighborly relations in the region.

Measures aimed at deepening mutually beneficial trade-economic and innovation cooperation, cross-sectoral and industrial cooperation, making environmental "green" technologies more accessible in the CIS are intended to give additional impetus to the growth of national economies and the potential of the CIS as a whole.

Development of information space, strengthening of intercultural and inter-ethnic interaction, contacts between scientific and creative intellectuals, veterans' and youth organizations, in sport and tourism will help strengthen the dialogue of cultures in the CIS.

To achieve these goals the Republic of Belarus will invite the CIS member states to expand interaction of government agencies with other states and integration entities; fully use the potential of interregional and cross-border cooperation of the CIS member states and tap into the experience of the administrative-territorial units of the Republic of Belarus of participating in the Euro-regions "Neman", "Dnieper" and "Lake District".

There are plans to design a plan of action to the CIS Convention on Transfrontier Cooperation, including regional programs and projects aimed at building mutually beneficial relations at regional level; to continue cooperation in the field of prevention and management of natural and man-made disasters with the aim to ensure a secure environment for the life of people and reduce the negative impact of emergency situations; to implement a number of measures to curb the illicit activities across the external borders of the CIS member states in the west and northwest directions; to implement measures to raise the CIS image on the international arena and within the Commonwealth.

The Republic of Belarus will invite the CIS Council for Humanitarian Cooperation, the Mir Interstate TV and Radio Company to make greater use of the CIS symbols (CIS flag and emblem). In addition, the CIS Council for Humanitarian Cooperation will be proposed to consider measures to have souvenirs with CIS symbols represented in historical and cultural centers, airports, railway stations, gift shops, and kiosks in CIS countries.