The second day of the Minsk visit by Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Vincenzo Amendola, on Friday June 23, included bilateral meetings with Belarus's Foreign Minister Vladimir Makey and Deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs Evgeny Shestakov and Oleg Kravchenko. Mr Amendola was accompanied at the meetings by the Italian Ambassador, Stefano Bianchi.
The agenda included political relations, economic, cultural and scientific connections and the various regional crises in the area.
Mr Amendola had a special opportunity to recall, with Foreign Minister Makey, this year's 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. It has been a fruitful and positive cooperation, as evidenced by the meeting between President Lukashenko and President Mattarella, which took place in Rome in May 2016.
The topics discussed included the development of the national action plan on human rights and the dialogue initiated with the European Union, along with regional tensions and relations between the European Union and the Russian Federation. Mr Amendola expressed Italy's concern, and his hopes for a more determined commitment of all parties involved to recover stability in the region.
He then met Deputy Minister Shestakov for a round of consular consultations, assisted by the Farnesina's Director General for Italians Abroad, Luigi Vignali. They voiced the need for relaunching the programme for adopting Belarusian minors in Italy and the continuation of medical treatment in Italy for child victims of the Chernobyl disaster. Further discussions touched on disputed minors, visa facilitation and mutual judicial assistance in civil, business and criminal matters.
The meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister Kravchenko focused on various aspects of bilateral relations. The diplomats agreed on the excellent standard of cooperation between the two countries, especially from an economic standpoint. Mr Amendola stressed the breadth of concerns. The first joint economic commission, held in Minsk in 2016 was a great stride forward, enhancing the great trade potential between the two markets.
At the end of the working day, the Undersecretary visited the Belarusian National Art Museum which is currently showcasing an exhibition on “Dottori, Chagall, Soutine, Khodasevich-Léger. Dinamismi, espressione, segni e sogni: Sguardo sull’arte fra Italia e Bielorussia nella prima metà del ‘900” [“Dottori, Chagall, Soutine, Khodasevich-Léger. Dynamism, expression, signs and dreams: art in Italy and Belarus in the first half of the 20th century”]. The event has been organised by the Italian Embassy in Minsk, within the framework of the Year of Italian Culture in Belarus, in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. After that, Undersecretary Amendola also met some independent and opposition MPs.