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14 Dec 2017

Outstanding Belarusian-Lithuanian economic relations marred by politics

MINSK, 14 December (BelTA) – Belarus and Lithuania can be proud of their economic relations but their political ones are not in the best shape, BelTA learned from the latest interview Ambassador of Belarus to Lithuania Alexander Korol gave to the Litovsky Kuryer (Lithuanian courier) newspaper.

According to the diplomat, Belarus and Lithuania have established effective cooperation in economic affairs. Lithuania is one of the leading economic partners of Belarus. The country reliably occupies the eighth position in terms of trade turnover and the seventh position in terms of export volume. For several years Belarus-Lithuania trade volume has been above $1 billion. Lithuania is also in the top ten investors in the Belarusian economy and was the fifth largest investor in 2016. Belarus’ investments in Lithuania have also nearly doubled.

“Belarusian and Lithuanian companies vigorously cooperate. There are over 600 companies with a share of Lithuanian capital in Belarus and some 250 companies with Belarusian capital in Lithuania. So, we definitely have something to be proud about yet we have room for growth, too. As for politics, I can say that in sport terms Belarusian-Lithuanian relations are not in the best shape right now,” said Alexander Korol.

The ambassador attributed the deplorable state of affairs to multiple objective reasons and subjective ones of transitory nature.

The ambassador noted that Belarus-Lithuania diplomatic relations turned 25 in 2017, however, relations between the two nations are measured in centuries. “We had a common country — the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. We lived through periods of prosperity and decay together. The border between our current capital cities has existed for only a moment on the historical scale. In the past Belarusians and Lithuanians could freely move from Minsk to Vilnius and vice versa without any obstacles and without visas. Naturally, bearing in mind the many centuries of common history, the long-standing cultural, economic, and humanitarian ties Belarus has always highly prioritized the development of relations with Lithuania,” stressed Alexander Korol.

“It seems to me that instead of reflecting on accomplishments of the past, we should work hard for the sake of the future. I am sure that 25 years is only the beginning of long, productive, and mutually beneficial cooperation between the two neighboring countries,” stated the diplomat.

 

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