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14 May 2019

FM: Participation in EaP should benefit Belarusians

BRUSSELS, 14 May (BelTA) – Belarus’ participation in the Eastern Partnership (EaP) initiative should benefit the people of the country, Belarus’ Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei told the media on the sidelines of the High-Level Conference on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the EU’s Eastern Partnership initiative in Brussels on 14 May, BelTA has learned.

On 13 May, Vladimir Makei took part in the Eastern Partnership and European Union ministerial meeting. Belarus suggested defining ambitious yet realistic priorities for the initiative. “Why not, for instance, treble the EaP states’ export to the EU and the EU investments in the EaP countries by 2030?” the minister noted. “Saying that the Eastern Partnership is a great idea is one thing. It is important, however, to aim at concrete projects that can benefit every person in our country. Ordinary people should see that our participation in the initiative is beneficial,” he said.

Speaking of cross-border mobility, Vladimir Makei advocated for the removal of artificial administrative barriers at the external EU frontier which currently cause many-hour delays for persons and cargo carriers. It is also important to remove trading barriers, increase the EU investment in Belarus and create new jobs.

“There were a number of things we found necessary to mention at yesterday’s and today’s meetings. They are actually supported by our European counterparts. They said that our speech would be included into the action plan for the next decade. We want the EU to expand its presence in Belarus, implement more projects aimed at increasing its recognizability in the country. We have always supported such a policy and introduced the corresponding proposals,” the minister said.

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