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24 Nov 2017

Belarus’ proposals on ‘earthly’ nature of Eastern Partnership in Brussels summit resolution

BRUSSELS, 24 November (BelTA) – Belarus’ proposals in favor of the “earthly” nature of the Eastern Partnership Initiative are reflected in the final declaration of the Brussels summit, BelTA learned from Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei.

The official said: “We’ve tried to make our proposals about the more earthly, more pragmatic nature of the Eastern Partnership Initiative part of the declaration. I mean that cooperation between the Eastern Partnership countries and the European Union should aim for concrete results. It should be pragmatic. In our time we put forth a number of proposals on implementing regional projects, which also contributed to tighter cooperation.”

Vladimir Makei stated that for now the Eastern Partnership Initiative means very little for regular citizens. It is necessary to fill this initiative with concrete projects such as the development of border infrastructure, transit corridors, and the establishment of enterprises, which will help create jobs among other things.

According to Vladimir Makei, in his speech during the summit he mentioned tighter cooperation between the European integration process and the Eurasian one is necessary. “We should move away from this confrontational rhetoric, which is unfortunately present in our region. It is necessary to establish long-term relations, which will aim for the future and will rely on tighter interaction,” believes the Belarusian minister of foreign affairs.

Vladimir Makei also reminded about the Belarus president’s initiative in favor of a tighter political dialogue for the sake of better trust in the region.

Vladimir Makei believes that final documents of events like the Eastern Partnership Initiative summit should bear future in mind. They should contribute to better stability and security instead of higher tensions. “From this point of view the declaration contains clear-cut premises saying that the Eastern Partnership Initiative and interaction of the EaP partner states with the European Union member states is not aimed against third countries,” stressed the official.

Speaking about the advancement of Belarus-EU relations, Vladimir Makei remarked that Belarus has no intention of rushing headlong into the European Union. Belarus is a member of the Eurasian Economic Union and believes it is necessary to develop this union. “We already feel the benefits of our participation and hope that the trend will stay in place,” said the minister of foreign affairs.

Meanwhile, Belarus is intent on diversifying its foreign economic ties. The European Union is the second most important partner of Belarus after the Eurasian Economic Union, in particular, after Russia. “It doesn’t mean we are going to sever our close allied relations with Russia and other ex-USSR countries. Contrariwise, we believe these ties should grow stronger. But at the same time we should advance cooperation with the European Union and distant-arc countries in order to diversify our trade and economic relations,” said Vladimir Makei. “The European Union pours technologies and investments into Belarus. This is why relations with the European Union are very important for us.”

“This is why our main task in the context of our participation in the Eastern Partnership Initiative and in the context of our overall efforts to normalize relations with the European Union is to advance primarily trade and economic cooperation. It should help make the Belarusian economy stronger. In turn, it will make our political independence and sovereignty stronger,” concluded Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei.


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