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Opinions & Interviews

13 May 2019

FM: Belarus will keep expanding contacts with EU

FM: Belarus will keep expanding contacts with EU
Photo courtesy of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

BRUSSELS, 13 May (BelTA) – Belarus remains committed to cooperation with the European Union, Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei told reporters on 13 May in the run-up to the Eastern Partnership (EaP) ministerial meeting that brought together EU foreign ministers and their counterparts from the Eastern Partnership countries, BelTA has learned.

“We are determined to keep building our relations with the European Union. We are determined to get the Partnership Priorities signed. Unfortunately, this process was suspended and it was not our fault. I hope that by the end of the year we will make progress with signing the agreements on visa facilitation and readmission,” Vladimir Makei said.

According to the foreign minister, participants of the Brussels meetings will review the work of the Eastern Partnership over the past ten years. It is important to carefully analyze all the achievements and failures in order to help the initiative achieve much bigger results in the coming 10-year period.

“We will push for signing the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with the European Union. We will discuss all these matters today. A series of bilateral meetings have been planned,” the minister informed.

Vladimir Makei added that every union or bilateral relation have a flipside. However, it is important not to be overwhelmed by negative trends, but to find common ground, something that can help overcome existing problems and pave the way for sustainable development. “We need to find what unites us instead of looking for the things that take us apart and to use this unifying ground to build our relations. It is the commitment to the unifying agenda rather than confrontation that always produces better results for all the stakeholders,” the foreign minister said.

A reminder, Vladimir Makei represents Belarus at the events to mark the 10th anniversary of the Eastern Partnership that are taking place in Brussels on 13-14 May.

On 13 May, foreign ministers of the 28 EU member states are meeting with their counterparts from the six Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine). Their annual joint session is chaired by Federica Mogherini - High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

On the same day, President Tusk will host the leaders of the Eastern Partnership countries for a dinner. The European Union will be represented by President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, Federica Mogherini, and European Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn.

On 14 May, a high level conference dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the partnership will be held.

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