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15 Nov 2017

Cooperation with EU to determine level of Belarus' participation in EaP summit

Photo by the Embassy of Belarus in RussiaMINSK, 15 November (BelTA) – The level of the participation of the Belarusian delegation in the Eastern Partnership summit, which is due in Brussels on 24 November, will be determined taking into account the current cooperation with the EU, Belarus’ Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei told the media following his meeting with Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on 15 November, BelTA has learned.

“The Belarusian delegation will take part in the event. As for the level of Belarus’ participation in the summit, it will depend on the current level of our cooperation with the European Union,” Vladimir Makei said.

Vladimir Makei stated that the level of cooperation between Belarus and the European Union is lagging behind the level of the cooperation of the EU with the other member states of the Eastern Partnership and Russia. “Our relations with the European Union are based on the agreement that was concluded in 1989. We decided to join the Eastern Partnership initiative in order to strengthen and improve our relations with the European Union, its economic component in the first place,” the minister said.

The diplomat added that by participating in the Eastern Partnership Belarus tries to make sure this initiative is not directed against third countries. “We have always pursued a clear line at formal and informal meetings, which is to ensure that the Eastern Partnership is not viewed as hostile by our closest allies,” he said.

Vladimir Makei emphasized that Belarus would not allow the final declaration of the Brussels summit to be anti-Russian. “It is important to avoid the confrontational rhetoric that we see in our region today and to understand the need for greater engagement and movement towards each other in order to restore the levels of trust that we once had,” the diplomat said.

 

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