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Opinions & Interviews

9 Nov 2016

Ambassador: Belarus is to become an important part of the Silk Road Economic Belt

Ambassador: Belarus is to become an important part of the Silk Road Economic Belt

MINSK, 9 November (BelTA) – Belarus is to become an important part of the Silk Road Economic Belt project, Belarus’ Ambassador to Lithuania Alexander Korol said in an interview with the Lithuanian business magazine Jura More Sea, BelTA has learned.

“I have to say, in all modesty, that Belarus is going to become an important part of the Silk Road Economic Belt. First of all, it is because the level of political trust between Belarus and China is very high,” the diplomat said.

In his words, the governments of the two countries have signed an agreement on cooperation as part of the Silk Road Economic Belt initiative to expand and strengthen mutually beneficial contacts. “Belarus has an important strategic geographical position, connecting the biggest markets of the Eurasian Economic Union and the European Union, providing access to the Baltic and Black Seas,” said Alexander Korol.

The Ambassador noted that Belarus and Lithuania have been steadily developing bilateral cooperation. Lithuania is one of Belarus’ leading trading partners in Europe and in the world. The country ranks eighth in Belarus’ aggregate trade and sixth in Belarus’ exports. The two countries successfully cooperate in the transport, transit and investment areas. The bilateral trade has been growing. “Lithuania is a gateway for Belarus to the EU. Belarus, for its part, provides access to a 180-million strong market of the Eurasian Economic Union. The mutual benefit for the two countries that represent different integration organizations is evident,” the diplomat said.

Alexander Korol was also asked about the impact of the sanctions imposed and lifted by Europe and other countries. “First of all, I would like to stress that the very idea of sanctions contradicts the logic of interstate relations. Both the parties suffer from such actions. We call for the total abolition of all the sanctions for the sake of equal and mutually beneficial cooperation between countries and regions,” the Ambassador stressed.

He added that the current suspension of sanctions against Belarus may result in big positive changes in the country’s foreign policy and trade. “25 Belarusian companies can now apply for financial support to the European Investment Bank,” Alexander Korol noted.

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