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Opinions & Interviews

18 May 2015

Belarus’ MFA seeks pragmatic dialogue with Sweden

MINSK, 18 May (BelTA) – The Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs expects to develop a pragmatic dialogue with Sweden at the new stage of the bilateral cooperation, spokesman for the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dmitry Mironchik told BelTA.

When asked whether the high level of the upcoming ministerial consultations between Belarus and Sweden means that the conflict is over and that the countries have started looking for areas of common ground, Dmitry Mironchik noted: “We believe that conflict situations should not last forever.”

In his words, Sweden plays an important role in the regional and subregional processes in the north of Europe. Its opinion is valued in the European Union. “In terms of history and geography Belarus has a direct relation to this region, and Sweden is our important trading and economic partner. Given all this, in 2013 Belarus accommodated the request of the Swedish side and agreed to the resumption of the activities by the Swedish Embassy in Minsk with one diplomat in charge and, a year later, to increasing the number of the diplomatic staff of the Swedish diplomatic mission,” Dmitry Mironchik said.

“We expect that the new Swedish ambassador will start fulfilling his duties already next week after he presents copies of his credentials,” the spokesman added.

“Today we have many cooperation ties with the Swedish Foreign Ministry, which makes us believe that our expectations regarding the new stage in the Belarus-Sweden relations are being taken into account and will be duly considered in the future. It is not a secret that Belarus has always advocated a respectful and pragmatic dialogue with all its partner states. We are pleased to see that our Swedish partners share this approach,” Dmitry Mironchik noted.

Minsk will host the Belarus-Sweden ministerial consultations on 19 May. On behalf of Belarus the consultations will be attended by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Alena Kupchyna, on behalf of Sweden by director general for political affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Thorbjorn Solstrom. The parties are expected to discuss the full range of issues of the bilateral cooperation between the Republic of Belarus and the Kingdom of Sweden, the development of cooperation in the political, trade and economic affairs and also within the Belarus-EU framework.

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