Belarus, Russia and Ukraine experts discuss cooperation

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December 23rd, 2016 – Fort Russ News – 

– FR Staff  – 

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

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 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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