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16 May 2019

Belarus urges to drop counterproductive ‘east or west’ dilemma

Belarus urges to drop counterproductive ‘east or west’ dilemma

MINSK, 16 May (BelTA) – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus is convinced that it is necessary to give up the counterproductive ‘east or west’ dilemma, Belarus Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Oleg Kravchenko said at the conference  “Cooperation in Eastern Europe in the context of regional and global challenges and threats” on 16 May, BelTA has learned.

“We believe that withdrawal from the counterproductive ‘east or west’ dilemma is a contribution to the vital and hopefully unavoidable rapprochement in the European region, or I would rather say in the OSCE region,” Oleg Kravchenko said.

The major objective of the ongoing conference is to find ways and instruments to build a dialogue between various geopolitical groups with a view to achieving regional integration in Eastern Europe and determining the outlines of the possible new security system based on the Helsinki process and Belarus’ peace-keeping initiative Helsinki-2 in Eastern Europe and in Eurasia. According to Oleg Kravchenko, Belarus will keep advocating a dialogue as a means of de-escalation of tensions at a time when many are against it.

The deputy minister noted that the topic of the conference is relevant taking into consideration mounting mutual disagreements and the military buildup. “If we look at the situation from Belarus’ point of view, we will see that the biggest risk is posed by continuing and mounting confrontation. We believe that mutual faultfinding will lead to a stalemate, when parties will never be able to come to terms,” he added.

“It has become a kind of common rule to talk about the crisis of trust and to call for building up trust. This is hardly likely at the current stage and in the mid-term perspective. It would make more sense to develop a system of informing each other about the absence of threats. However, this is also unlikely now,” Oleg Kravchenko said.

Apart from that, the destruction of the system of weapons control and international security seems quite dangerous, too. “I would not say that things are descending into chaos, but the failure to stick to the agreements and rules that were observed during the Cold War cannot but be perceived as a reason for serious  concern,” the deputy minister noted.

The conference “Cooperation in Eastern Europe in the context of regional and global challenges and threats” is taking place on 16-17 May. It is organized by the Institute of Philosophy of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus in collaboration with the Russian branch of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation (Germany). It is timed to the 110th anniversary of birth of Andrei Gromyko, Belarus-born Foreign Minister of the USSR. Taking part in the conference are representatives of the academic and expert community from Belarus, Germany, Poland, Russia and Ukraine.

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