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Opinions & Interviews

18 Feb 2019

EU plans to increase project financing for Belarus

EU plans to increase project financing for Belarus

MINSK, 18 February (BelTA) – Belarus and the European Union will set up a working group to discuss new mutually beneficial projects, European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources Gunther Oettinger told reporters after his meeting with Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko on 18 February, BelTA has learned.

The European Commissioner noted that the EU is now drafting its budget for virtually ten years ahead and this budget provides for financing Eastern Partnership projects. Some of these projects are to be implemented in Belarus.

“We have such a possibility and we deem it necessary to increase financing for these projects. We agreed to set up a kind of working group with experts from Belarus and the European Commission in Brussels to discuss specific avenues of cooperation and future programs,” Gunther Oettinger said.

One of such cooperation avenues is improving transport infrastructure. “Belarus has a long border with the EU member states; it is a very important transit country when it comes to transit flows between the EU and Russia. Therefore, this matter – expansion and development of the cross-border transport network – will play an important role,” the European Commissioner said.

He added that this year will mark 10 years since the launch of the European Union’s Eastern Partnership initiative. This project is designed, among other things, to build relations with Belarus. “Now we are mulling over our cooperation priorities, as well as a series of pragmatic, result-oriented projects that will benefit both sides. First of all, it pertains to the economic sector,” Gunther Oettinger said.

According to the European Commissioner, in recent years Belarus and the European Union have made considerable progress in improving their relations and normalizing the bilateral dialogue. He is convinced that both sides are interested in maintaining momentum.

Gunther Oettinger welcomed Belarus’ efforts to help resolve the conflict in Ukraine.  He noted that Belarus and the president have a sound approach to the regional stability and security agenda and praised Belarus’ efforts to safeguard peace in the region.

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