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Andreichenko suggests promoting Belarus-Poland parliamentary cooperation

MINSK (BelTA) – We need to devise ways of promoting inter-parliamentary cooperation between Belarus and Poland, Chairman the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus Vladimir Andreichenko said as he met with Deputy Marshal of the Polish Sejm Ryszard Terlecki, BelTA has learned.

Vladimir Andreichenko noted that such meetings help bring the positions on certain issues closer and devise ways of developing relations (including inter-parliamentary ones) for the near-term. “Belarus and Poland are neighbors, and we are close not only geographically. Belarusian MPs are ready for dialogue and constructive and mutually beneficial cooperation,” he said.

“Today we have issues in the bilateral relations. There is nothing to hide. But we need to deal with them through dialogue in a constructive and pragmatic manner while respecting the sovereignty of each other,” the Speaker said. He is convinced that parliamentary diplomacy has an important role to play in this matter. According to Vladimir Andreichenko, he welcomed the decision of the Polish Sejm to set up a Belarusian Parliament friendship group, especially since a similar friendship group has already been created in the Belarusian Parliament. “On 11 September we will have the elections to the House of Representatives. I think that after the elections we must intensify our work on all fronts. This may include the exchange of visits, and exchange of experience in lawmaking,” the Speaker added.

With regard to trade and economic cooperation, Vladimir Andreichenko said that since 2011 much has been missed in the bilateral relations, and this situation needs to be corrected through joint efforts, contacts, tighter cooperation at the level of ministries and departments, the border regions. “Belarus pursues a multi-vector foreign policy. We cooperate both with the East and the West. We are interested in attracting foreign investment, new technologies,” he said. Vladimir Andreichenko assured that by working with the countries of the European Union and expanding economic cooperation with this integration association, Belarus pays great attention to the development of contacts with Poland, including in economy. The Speaker drew attention to the fact that in 2015 the bilateral commodity trade amounted to almost $1.8 billion. In January-May this year it made up $860 million. There are over 350 enterprises with Polish capital in Belarus.

Vladimir Andreichenko invited the Polish colleagues to participate in the international parliamentary forums which will be held in Belarus soon. One of such forums is a regular session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly which is scheduled for July 2017.

In turn, Ryszard Terlecki said that for Poland it is important to have good relations with other countries of Central and Eastern Europe, including with Belarus. “For us it is important that the neighboring countries, which are not members of the European Union, have access directly to the EU through Poland," he said.

A Polish parliamentary delegation led by Deputy Marshal of the Sejm Ryszard Terlecki is in Belarus on a visit on 2-4 August. The Polish MPs are set to meet with the Speakers of both chambers of the Belarusian Parliament Vladimir Andreichenko and Mikhail Myasnikovich (2 August), Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Alena Kupchyna (August 3), to hold talks in the Baranovichi District Executive Committee and the Brest Oblast Executive Committee (4 August). The Polish MPs will also visit FEZ Brest, Sts Simeon and Helen Church, the National History Museum of Belarus, and the Wankowicz House-Museum.