MINSK, November 23 (Itar-Tass) - Present-day challenges and threats only strengthen cooperation of the Russian and Belarusian foreign ministries, Belarusian Foreign Minister Sergei Martynov said at a joint meeting of the collegiums of the two ministries, which opened here on Tuesday.
"The challenges only intensify our cooperation and by no means weaken it," he said.
According to Martynov, the main task of the Tuesday meeting is to analyse the fulfilment of the programme of joint actions of Belarus and Russia in the sphere of foreign policy. Senior officials of the two foreign ministries will establish whether or not there are "bottlenecks" in the process and in what way they could be overcome.
Commenting on cooperation with the European Union, Martynov said it was very important for EU and the Customs Union "not to drift apart in the development process, and to maintain economic cooperation on some stage of their development."
Martynov expressed heartfelt gratitude to Russia for the support it gave to the efforts of the Belarusian officials in many directions of foreign policy, specifically measures to eradicate trade in humans and the establishment of closer relations with the EU member countries.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, in his turn, that the integration processes taking place on the Euro Atlantic territory, including the CIS territory, were acquiring special importance today. He added that some new phenomena should be carefully analysed, and coordinated approaches to them should be worked out. "We appreciate the opportunity to coordinate our efforts with Belarus on the work of the integration structures and preparations for the summit meetings of CIS, CSTO, EurAsEC and the Supreme Authority of the Customs Union, which are planned to be held early in December," Lavrov said.