On December 6-7, 2018 the Belarusian delegation led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus, Vladimir Makei, took part in the 25th meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Milan (Italy).
Speaking at the plenary meeting of the Ministerial Council, the Head of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry stressed the dangerous escalation of tension in the region, increasing military capabilities at the borders. V.Makei urged to abandon the deployment of new military bases, “pumping” the region with lethal weapons. Foreign Minister spoke in support of measures to increase military transparency, restore channels of communication between the military, exchange experience on the implementation of regional and local confidence-building and security measures.
V.Makei drew attention to the initiative of the President of Belarus to launch a new broad dialogue on international security issues. He urged to intensify efforts to resolve the Ukrainian crisis, noted the willingness of Belarus to continue to make a fair share of contribution to this process.
Belarusian Foreign Minister stressed the importance of building up joint actions to respond to modern challenges and threats.
On the sidelines of the Ministerial Council V.Makei took part in an informal meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the CSTO member states, during which a joint statement was approved in support of the Treaty on the Elimination of the Intermediate- and Shorter Range Missiles.
The Head of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry participated in a thematic event held on the margins of the Ministerial Council on promoting economic connectivity in the OSCE area. V.Makei stressed the need to expand trade and economic relations between the countries of the region and between the leading integration associations, the development of transport corridors. He highlighted the unique geographical position of our country between the two largest integration associations — the Eurasian Economic Union and the European Union. V.Makei cited the Belarusian-Chinese project “The Great Stone” as an example of successful interstate cooperation.
The Belarusian Foreign Minister held a working meeting with the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Slovakia, Miroslav Lajčák, during which the prospects for the Belarusian-Slovak cooperation in the framework of the upcoming Slovakia's OSCE Chairmanship in 2019 were discussed.
During the meeting with the First Deputy Prime Minister — Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia Ivica Dačić, an agreement to enhance the bilateral political dialogue was reached.
The ways of further building up the Belarusian-Turkish cooperation in various fields, as well as prospects of developing contacts at the highest and high levels were the subject of conversation of V.Makei with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, Mevlüt Cavusoglu.
The Head of the Foreign Ministry of Belarus exchanged views on certain issues of bilateral agendas at the meetings with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway, Ine Eriksen Søreide and the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands Stef Blok.
Minister V.Makei also held a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, Péter Szijjártó, during which a timetable of bilateral contacts for the beginning of 2019 was reviewed.
During the conversation with the NATO Deputy Secretary General, Rose Gottemoeller, the possibilities of developing further dialogue between the Republic of Belarus and the Alliance, as well as the situation in the region were discussed.
Prospects for interaction between the Republic of Belarus and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), including the implementation of joint projects, were discussed during the meeting with the ODIHR Director, Ingibjörg Gisladottir.