Belarus is committed to the basic principles of the OSCE, said Belarus President on March 16 at a meeting with the chairman of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. Christine Muttonen spent several days in Belarus. On March 15, she met with Belarusian MPs.
The sides signed an agreement on the 26th annual session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.
It will be held in July 2017 in the capital of Belarus. Alexander Lukashenko emphasized that our country will make every effort so that the upcoming session becomes the best in the history of such meetings.
Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
We thank you for the trust rendered to Belarus in terms of the session of the Parliamentary Assembly. In terms of these activities and this session, we really need to discuss many issues. I want to be honest and say openly that we will do everything so that this session is named the best in the OSCE PA history.
We want this to demonstrate that Belarus is committed to the basic principles of the OSCE's work, and this is not window dressing. We will prove this by our real actions. We will show to the world and first of all members of this organization what Belarus has today. We will show once again that those biases that exist in the West (especially existed) are far-fetched. We will show that Belarus is a European country.
We will prove that Belarus has as many human rights, rule of law and democracy as in other European countries, including the European Union.
You can be calm and confident in the fact that you didn't make a mistake deciding to hold this event in Belarus.
Christine Muttonen became President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in July 2016, during a meeting in Georgia. Under the rules, a person is chosen for this position for one year. Christine Muttonen is an experienced parliamentarian, who has been in an Austrian MP since 1999.
Christine Muttonen, president of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, member of the National Council of Austria:
We are honored to meet you. We are very pleased that you have agreed to host the session of the Parliamentary Assembly. For us, this event is very important. Yesterday we held productive discussions, and I am sure that everything you need has already been done and will be done.
I have no doubt that the session will be successful.
In general, more than 300 parliamentarians from 57 countries take part in OSCE Parliamentary Assembly sessions. The summer session of the OSCE PA has always been a good platform for discussions. Preparation for this even has already begun. On March 15, an agreement signed by the two sides.
Among the main points of discussion are the strengthening of mutual trust and economic issues.
Christine Muttonen visited a number of Belarusian enterprises on March 16. The OSCE PA President attended a fashion show featuring clothes by Belarusian producers.
It seems that the Austrian guest appreciated the clothing.
Very good stuff and good design. Designers are really creative people.
The experienced eye of artists and designers of the company helps remain in the fashion trend. For example, fuchsia and cornflower colors now are among the most popular. The company Elema exports to Russia and Kazakhstan 40% of its fashion products.
Elema exports some clothes even to the UK and the USA.
Alexander Trizonov, director of OAO Elema:
We sell 65% in the domestic market. Accordingly, 35% is sold abroad.
This is also Belarusian fashion industry, but now we're talking about chocolate. The company Kommunarka is one of the largest producers of confectionery products. It produces a total of 250 varieties of sweets.
Among the company's export destinations are Russia, Israel, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Germany, the Czech Republic, and the United Arab Emirates.
Recently, the company has launched four modern production lines thanks to modernization. As a result, productivity at Kommunarka has increased by five times.
Ivan Danchenko, Director General of Kommunarka:
Exports increased by 19% in 2016, and in the first quarter of 2017, we expect an increase in exports by 2.5 times. Including a twofold increase in exports to countries other than Russia.
During this tour, Christine Muttonen repeated many times that she would surely visit Belarus again.