Lavrov to Attend CIS Council of Foreign Ministers in Minsk

12 April

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will attend the regular meeting of the CIS Council of Foreign Ministers (CMFA), which he will chair in Minsk on Friday. The CIS foreign ministers are anticipated to discuss a broad range of international and regional issues, with a particular emphasis on security cooperation.


Maria Zakharova, spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, previously mentioned that the ministers will focus on the primary directions of CIS work, taking into account Russia's priorities for the organization in 2024.


"Special attention will be given to enhancing cooperation in ensuring security within the CIS region, joint countermeasures against traditional and emerging challenges and threats, cultural and humanitarian cooperation, including in preparation for the Year of the 80th Anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War in the CIS in 2025," the diplomat clarified.


Absence of Mirzoyan


On April 8, it was announced that Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan would not attend the meeting in Minsk. According to the Belarusian Foreign Ministry, delegations from eight foreign policy agencies, excluding the host country, will participate in the meeting. "These delegations will be led primarily by ministers, but there will also be delegations at the level of authorized deputy ministers, including the Armenian Foreign Ministry," the ministry stated.


In the last CIS Ministerial Council meeting in October 2023, Armenia was the only country represented at the deputy minister level, unlike Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Yerevan has missed several meetings in various integration formats in the former Soviet Union, including summits, Ministerial Council meetings, and other events under the Collective Security Treaty Organization.


Russia's Six Priorities


Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Pankin, in an interview with TASS, identified six key areas of work for the Russian presidency: economic cooperation, foreign policy coordination, combating new challenges and threats, military cooperation, cultural and humanitarian space, and expanding interaction with the Commonwealth's external partners, both immediate and distant.


The topic of combating new threats is expected to be a significant focus of the discussions in Minsk. Two days before the Ministerial Council meeting, the heads of the CIS countries' anti-terrorist centers (ATCs) met in Moscow to identify key areas of cooperation. At the beginning of the meeting, representatives of security agencies and special services of the CIS countries strongly condemned the March 22 terrorist attack in Crocus City Hall near Moscow. This subject will undoubtedly continue to be discussed in Minsk.

Several joint statements will be adopted as a result of the Ministerial Council meeting, and some of the documents approved at the end of the meetings will be submitted for further approval by the CIS heads of state. Additionally, the heads of foreign ministries will summarize the results of implementing the 2023 plan of multilevel inter-ministerial consultations within the CIS and the program of action to intensify partnership between the foreign ministries of the CIS member states.


Common Memory


By the decision of the leaders of the Commonwealth countries, 2025 has been declared the Year of the 80th Anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War in the CIS. Preparations for this year are being actively carried out, and it has been identified as one of the key tasks in the Concept of the Russian Federation's chairmanship in the CIS in 2024.


The ministerial meeting in Minsk will consider the establishment of a single commemorative medal "80 Years of Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945". This initiative will underscore the Russian presidency's efforts to preserve the historical truth about the events of those years, as well as to combat the falsification of history and attempts to rehabilitate Nazism.

Meetings on the Sidelines


Furthermore, on the sidelines of the Minsk meeting, Lavrov will participate in the seventh meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia and Central Asian states, including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.


"The participants will discuss the progress of work on the implementation of agreements reached following the first Russia-Central Asia summit on October 14, 2022, in Astana," - the Russian Foreign Ministry informed. - "It is also anticipated that views will be exchanged on key international and regional issues. Special attention will be given to environmental issues and prospects for cooperation in this crucial area."



GSV "Russia - Islamic World"

Photo: Russian Foreign Ministry

Based on materials from TASS