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24 Oct 2017

Belarus satisfied with advancement of relations with European Union

MINSK, 24 October (BelTA) – Belarus is satisfied with the advancement of relations with the European Union on the whole but the two sides should move on. Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei made the statement in an interview with the Financial Times, BelTA has learned.

Vladimir Makei said: “At present we are satisfied with the development of relations with the European Union on the whole. But it is necessary to move on. First of all, we have to create a modern legal foundation for our cooperation.”

The minister noted that Belarus’ cooperation with the European Union now relies on the USSR agreement with the European Economic Community of 1989. “Things have changed a long time ago. We need a concrete fundamental document on par with the spirit of the time. It will benefit both sides,” Vladimir Makei is convinced.

Vladimir Makei explained that Belarus has no intention of signing an association agreement the way Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine have done. “We need an agreement approved by all the European Union member states. The European Union has signed such agreements with Russia, Kazakhstan, and Armenia. Signing such an agreement was impossible in the past due to the European Union sanctions. We understand that it is difficult for the European Union to make concrete steps in this direction. But the present situation opens up opportunities for more active cooperation,” believes Vladimir Makei.

Vladimir Makei did not hazard a guess as to when such a document can be signed. The Belarusian minister of foreign affairs underlined that the sides should work on it. “We should make concrete steps in this direction instead of waiting for things to happen and change the situation radically. We don’t expect the European Union to give us some special preferences. We just want to be a reliable trade and economic partner for the European Union,” pointed out Vladimir Makei.


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