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Opinions & Interviews

27 May 2015

Belarus expects to strengthen economic ties with European Union

MINSK, 27 May (BelTA) – Belarus expects to strengthen trade and economic ties with the European Union, Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei said in an interview with The Washington Post. The transcript of the interview was published on the website of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, BelTA has learned.

Vladimir Makei said that at the moment Belarus is not ready to talk about close cooperation with the EU in the form of an association agreement due to a number of reasons. “However, this does not mean that we rule out the possibility of establishing closer relations with the European Union in some five, ten, or fifteen years. Of course, if the union still exists at that time. We want to have good, first of all, trade and economic relations with the EU,” he noted.

“Today, in the context of the Ukrainian crisis, we talk about securing and strengthening the sovereignty of Belarus and other countries. And political sovereignty and independence is impossible without economic sovereignty and independence. We talk to our partners about this. We are interested in having good trade and economic relations with the European Union. And we are not just talking about it. We are taking certain measures,” Vladimir Makei stressed. In his words, European partners give due consideration to Belarus’ proposals.

“We do not want to suffer an economic collapse. Because of this we should maintain good relations with the European Union and the United States. If our partners are interested in Belarus as an isle of stability in the region, then we should cooperate in trade and economy so that Belarus can successfully pass through this crisis,” Vladimir Makei said.

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