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13 Nov 2015

Belarus sees European Union’s policy leaning towards interests of Eastern Partnership countries

MINSK, 13 November (BelTA) – The Belarusian side has noticed that the European Union’s policy is changing to better accommodate interests of the Eastern Partnership Initiative participating states. The relevant matters were discussed during consultations between ministries of foreign affairs. The consultations focused on interaction of the CIS member states with the European Union, NATO and interaction for the sake of European security, BelTA learned from representatives of the Humanitarian Cooperation, General Political and Social Problems Department of the CIS Executive Committee.

Participants of the consultations exchanged information concerning interaction of the CIS member states with the European Union. They discussed the European Union’s policy in the CIS space. The Belarusian delegation and the Armenian one delivered information about the European Union’s efforts to build relations within the framework of the Eastern Partnership Initiative. It was noted that the European Union is rethinking and changing its policy to better accommodate interests of the partnering states and their differing integration ambitions. It was noted that the countries that participate in the Eastern Partnership Initiative and are also members of the Commonwealth of Independent States should take into account common CIS interests as they shape interaction within the framework of the Eastern Partnership Initiative.

Belarus now presides over the Eurasian Economic Union. The Belarusian delegation informed that Belarus had handed a document to the European Commission with proposals to establish interaction between the two regional integration associations.

Participants of the consultations spoke in favor of starting a dialogue between the Eurasian Economic Union and the European Union. The dialogue is believed to be able to contribute to bringing about more opportunities for trade and economic cooperation between the two integration bodies. Participants of the consultations agreed that the process could become a practical step forward on the way towards forming a common economic space from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean in the future. It was noted that such interaction would meet interests of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Representatives of Russia and Ukraine informed about results of the consultations held in anticipation of the temporary enforcement of the agreement on Ukraine’s associate membership in the European Union, in particular, the creation of a deep and comprehensive free trade zone. The Russian delegation said Ukraine should better take into account the CIS legislation and the relevant commitments given within the framework of the Commonwealth of Independent States. In turn, Ukraine’s representative said they were ready to consider the possibility of toughening the existing rules of origin within the framework of the CIS free trade zone agreement.

The sides also shared information about cooperation between the CIS member states and NATO and the alliance’s role in current affairs concerning European security. The importance of the CIS states observing their commitments to the Commonwealth in building relations with NATO was mentioned.

Participants of the consultations noted that efforts of the CIS states to develop the Commonwealth represent an important factor for enhancing European security. They confirmed the importance of implementing the 2010 OSCE Astana Summit Declaration with regard to forming a free, democratic, common, and indivisible community of security that would be free from dividing lines, conflicts, spheres of influence and zones with different security levels.

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