The joint virtual session between the Iranian Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS) and the Belarusian Institute for Strategic Research (BISR) about the regional, bilateral and international issues was held on Monday, February 8, 2021. The session was attended by Dr.Mohammad KazemSajjadpour, Deputy Minister of MOFA & President of IPIS; Mr.Majid Ghafelebashi, Research Deputy at the Center; Ali Eghbali Zarch, and Aliakbar Jokar, Senior Experts at IPIS; Hamid Asadi, Expert at Eurasian Department of Foreign Ministry of Iran; on one side, and, Oleg Makarov and Vitaly Stakhovsky, President and Deputy at BISR; Anton Dudaronak, Yuri Yarmolinsky, Ms.Asya Pentegova and Ms.Olga Lazorkina, Top Experts at said institute, on the other side.
The session was held in the form of two panels, “Iran-Belarusian Bilateral Relations and the World Under the Pandemic”, and “International Issues, with Focus on New US administration and Eurasian Developments”, to answer the following questions, (1) What are the challenges and opportunities of mutual cooperation? (2) What are the potential areas for strengthening economic bilateral cooperation, whether the corona pandemic has a systemic impact on international relations, or the world is just witnessing another short-term challenge, what are the new US administration’s impacts on the Eurasian region?
Here are the most important issues touched upon at the session:
- The pandemic era has ushered in a new geostrategic period, which has put biosafety and health safety in the spotlight of national and international goals and policies. The corona pandemic has influenced peace and stability in the Middle East and Eurasia, requiring the resulting new challenges and threats be responded to by collective approaches and further cooperation among the countries.
- The initiation of Tehran-Minsk relations dates back to 1993, although the bilateral relations has a long history. Iran’s interest in the process of integrating the Eurasian Economic Union and its membership in it is of importance for Belarus. Also, Belarus is a stable partner which has a developed agricultural and military sector. The areas of cooperation for the two countries include: transportation, car manufacturing, construction, wood industry, agricultural products, pharmacy and mineral excavations.
- Expansion of the Eurasian Economic Union and Iran’s joining, will make the Union more influential, in addition to enjoying economic benefits, and finally helping shape a multipolar approach in international relations.