December 23rd, 2016 - Fort Russ News -
- FR Staff -
The dialogue continues: experts from Belarus, Russia and Ukraine discuss issues of cooperation between the three countries -
On December 22nd, Minsk once again became a platform to address the pressing issues that are on the international agenda. In the capital of Belarus a round table titled "Experts from Belarus, Ukraine and Russia: regional aspect" was held, during which experts discussed the current state of inter-regional and cross-border cooperation among three countries. The meeting has affirmed the Belarusian politicians’statements that "Minsk has become a symbol of dialogue on a number of important economic and political issues."
According to representatives of the expert community, the year of 2016 wasn’t decisive with respect to the relations of the three countries. There’re still problems that require immediate solutions.
"Union of Russia and Belarus is definitely a good example of integration the post-Soviet space.It can serve as an example on how to build relationships with neighboring countries successfully. It would be a good example for Ukraine either," said political scientist, director of the Institute for Russians Abroad Sergey Panteleev.
He is sure that the cause of the problems in the relations between Russia and Ukraine is rooted in the desire to show up Russia as an enemy. But the evolution of the Belarusian-Russian relations allows to refute such ideas.
Yuri Shevtsov, political analyst and director of the Center for European Integration Studies (Minsk), believes that only the implementation of the Minsk agreements can change the situation.
"Minsk agreements should be implemented by all the signatories. It is essential. Until that happens, there will be no breakthroughs in our relationships. Meanwhile, it’s impossible to talk about the integration of the three countries. The implementation of the documents signed in Minsk should be the basis of this process. This will allow to restore relations," he said.
According to Ruslan Bortnik, political expert and director of the Ukrainian Institute of Policy Analysis and Management, "the Crimean and Donbass crises have made open dialogue unattractive." Radical mood is prevailing in Ukraine and this has narrowed both side’s room for maneuver.
"The Ukrainian crisis is a story for a dozen years more, because people who have become the catalyst for these events won’t change the way they think and won’t admit that they have been wrong," - said Ruslan Bortnik.
The expert thinks that there’s a need to look for a new model of modernization to solve the existing problems. "We can look at developing China or develop such models by ourselves. Socioeconomic modernization and the creation of successful economic projects will bring our cooperation to a new level. Belarus can become an Eastern Switzerland for the Ukrainians and Russians. Only in this I see the possibility of our civilizational survival," he stressed.
The participants of the civil forum discuss issues of the Belarusian-Russian-Ukrainian cooperation on this platform for the first time. This debate is a logical continuation of the round table "Expert community of Ukraine, Russia and Belarus in modern conditions", organized at the initiative of Belarusian public organizations: information and educational institution "Modern concept", portal IMHOclub.by and the center of modern social technologies.
At the round table the experts agreed to continue cooperation within the forum. The current geopolitical situation is unfolding in such a way that the recommendations emanating from the Minsk discussions can give new meanings to relationships between the three countries - Belarus, Russia and Ukraine.
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