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Opinions & Interviews

15 Jul 2019

Ambassador: Authority of Minsk negotiations venue is very high in Ukraine

MINSK, 15 July (BelTA) – The authority of the Minsk venue for holding negotiations on the regulation of the situation in eastern Ukraine is very high, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to Ukraine Igor Sokol, who is taking part in the annual seminar for heads of diplomatic missions and consular institutions, said, BelTA informs.

The ambassador recalled the recent address of President Volodymyr Zelensky with a proposal to hold talks on the situation in Ukraine in Minsk. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko spoke about the possibility to hold such a meeting several times. “Therefore, the authority of the Minsk negotiations venue and our president is this situation is very high,” Igor Sokol said.

In his words, even during and after the election campaign in Ukraine “there was not even a shade of doubt that Belarus will remain one of crucial trade and economic partners.” It is confirmed with the course of time. “We have got a number of positive signals from the elected president of Ukraine as well. As you know, Volodymyr Zelensky invited Aleksandr Lukashenko to attend the Forum of Regions in Zhytomyr. Our president conformed his participation,” the president said. “It will become a very important event in bilateral relations.” A republican organizing committee has been formed during the preparations for the forum in Ukraine.

Speaking about the trade and economic cooperation between the two countries, the ambassador described it as positive. “I think we are taking positive steps. There are a number of subjective and objective factors which have an impact on this process. On the whole, the trade and economic cooperation looks positive,” he remarked. “The export [of Belarus to Ukraine] exclusively of hydrocarbons went up 21% in five months.”

The sides continue to implement joint projects, in particular, on resuming full-fledged navigation on the Dnieper River in order to create a fully functional transport corridor for the transportation of goods from Belarus to ports of the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and the Caspian Sea. “The Dnieper project is moving, although not so fast was we would like to,” Igor Sokol said. “I think it will be implemented. Maybe, not on the previously arranged schedule.”

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