On 9 February 2018 in Minsk, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Andrejs Pildegovičs, met with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus, Oleg Kravchenko (Алег Краўчанка), for political consultations.
During the consultations, the State Secretary and the Deputy Foreign Minister made note of the visit by Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis to Belarus on 7-8 February, which saw discussions on business cooperation issues important for both countries. Besides, several intergovernmental and interinstitutional agreements were signed, including an agreement on early notification of nuclear accidents, information sharing and cooperation in the field of nuclear security and radiation protection.
State Secretary Andrejs Pildegovičs underlined the constructive dialogue in the field of security policy and arms control. He also commended the efforts of the Belarusian side to ensure openness and transparency during the Zapad 2017 military exercise. The State Secretary welcomed the resumption of negotiations on an agreement between Latvia and Belarus on the protection and management of cross-border waters, including the Daugava/Zapadnaya Dvina river basin, which should preferably be signed already this year. The parties were unanimous that cooperation between both countries should be intensified in education and science. Andrejs Pildegovičs and Oleg Kravchenko discussed the EU-Belarus agenda, in particular, the EU Visa Facilitation Agreement and the Readmission Agreement, as well as sharing views on the topics of human rights and democracy. Given that both Latvia and Belarus are celebrating the centenary of their statehood this year, Andrejs Pildegovičs made Oleg Kravchenko a present of a historical study by Professors Ilgvars Butulis and Antonijs Zunda, translated into the Belarusian language and launched last summer when Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs was on a visit to Belarus.
As part of his visit, State Secretary Andrejs Pildegovičs unveiled a portrait gallery of former Latvian ambassadors and chargés d’affaires to Belarus at the Latvian Embassy. The previous political consultations between the Foreign Ministries of Latvia and Belarus took place in Riga in April 2017.
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