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Opinions & Interviews

15 Feb 2021

FM: Belarus’ independence, sovereignty are important for Europe too

FM: Belarus’ independence, sovereignty are important for Europe too
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MINSK, 15 February (BelTA) – Belarus’ preserving the independence and sovereignty is important for Europe too, Belarus’ Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei said in an interview with the RBC newspaper, BelTA has learned .

Asked if he sees an opportunity to develop relations with the European Union, the head of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: "I think that these are temporary difficulties, we need to survive them. Indeed, today the European Union unequivocally supports the sanctions on our country suggested by those fugitive opponents of the government who are now traveling around European cities and towns. But I think sooner or later there will come an awareness that Belarus is important for the European Union. Belarus’ preserving statehood, independence and sovereignty is as important for Europe. They may not be very aware of it for the time being. But they will come to this."

According to Vladimir Makei, he keeps in contact with his European colleagues, although they try not to advertise this. "We have phone conversations. Of course, it is a pity that there is no opportunity to meet in person, but even on the phone they heed to some arguments, and I see that sooner or later these official arguments will get through. They will stop listening only to the government opponents who call only for sanctions, for the transfer of power and at the same time do not offer any positive agenda," he said. The minister noted that ahead of his to Russia EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said in an interview that foreign policy should be based on the search for solutions rather than mutual accusations. "But he said it with regard to Russia. As for Belarus, there are continuous accusations. But I think that if they follow this principle, sooner or later we will find opportunities to agree on the compromise solutions to the problems that exist in our relations," the Belarusian minister of foreign affairs said.

He also answered the question whether the normalization of relations with the EU under the current president was possible. In this regard, Vladimir Makei recalled his speech at the recent Belarusian People's Congress, in which he said that all the positive moments for everyone - both Europeans and Belarusians - over the past five years had been achieved thanks to the constructive dialogue between Europe and the current government of Belarus. “It is up to them to decide who they want to work with. But it is up to the Belarusian people to decide who will be in power and who will lead Belarus,” said the minister.

Vladimir Makei said that it was clearly stated that both the referendum and the next elections will be absolutely open and fair. “This will let us, let’s say from the legal point of view, set a clear and complete framework for our foreign and domestic policies for the future. As for your question, I would like you to address it to Europeans. Whom do they want to work with? If they want to deny the obvious and not work with the current government, then this is their right. I am sure that they will lose in this situation,” the minister said.

“We are ready to work with the Europeans, we are ready to discuss any issues. We are also ready to work with the OSCE to discuss the situation in our country, to find ways out of this situation. This does not mean however that we will agree to the things they propose: transfer of power, the unconditional resignation of the current president, the change of power through a revolution, through street pressure and so on and so forth. This is absolutely unacceptable because revolutions have never led to anything good,” Vladimir Makei concluded.

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