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23 Dec 2019

Belarus has its vision of improvements to Eastern Partnership

Belarus has its vision of improvements to Eastern Partnership
Vladimir Makei. An archive photo

MINSK, 23 December (BelTA) - Belarus has its vision of the improvements that need to be made to the Eastern Partnership, Belarus’ Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei said in an interview with the Osteuropa Informationen economic publication of the German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations, BelTA has learned.

The minister noted that work is in progress to develop a set of goals and objectives for the Eastern Partnership post 2020. “We have developed our own vision of the improvements that need to be made to the Eastern Partnership and which, in our opinion, would be in the interests of all EU partners,” the minister said.

According to him, comprehensive cooperation in trade is of considerable interest for Belarus. These are issues such as certification of exporting enterprises, standardization, metrology, harmonization and mutual recognition of compliance systems, simplification of trade procedures.

Secondly, it is time to think about a comprehensive approach to border improvement, taking into account the security and mobility of people and goods, Vladimir Makei said. It could include, among other things, further modernization of customs checkpoints, information exchange between the customs services of the Eastern Partnership countries and the EU.

Thirdly, Belarus suggests making technological innovations a priority in cooperation. Minsk is ready to host an Eastern Partnership IT School to train digital sector specialists for all its partners.

“Fourthly, transport and energy infrastructure is vitally important for both the EU and its partners which economies largely rely on solid ties with neighbors. The focus should be made on the development of international digital transport corridors. We hope that a similar action plan will be soon developed to invest in energy inter-connectors in the EU,” the minister said.

In general, Vladimir Makei stressed that the Eastern Partnership is a tool for pragmatic cooperation in the region, building bridges and developing interpersonal contacts on the basis of projects with high value added.  “These projects should be aimed, first of all ,at supporting the efforts of the EU neighbors to strengthen public wellbeing and also modernize and enhance competitive ability. I believe this is the key to regional sustainability and development,” he said.

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