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Opinions & Interviews

21 Nov 2018

Makei: Belarus advocates full-fledged dialogue between integration associations

Makei: Belarus advocates full-fledged dialogue between integration associations

MINSK, 21 November (BelTA) - Belarus advocates the development of sustainable mechanisms for a full-fledged dialogue between the integration unions, Belarus Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei said at a joint meeting of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Russia and Belarus in Minsk in 21 November, BelTA has learned.

“Located at the juncture of the Eurasian and European unions, Belarus seeks partnership, or, as we say, integration of integrations or cooperation of integrations, which is similar to the connectivity idea promoted in Europe, and is in favor of the development of sustainable mechanisms for a full-fledged dialogue between the integration unions,” Vladimir Makei said.

In his opinion, the cooperation between the EAEU and China’s Belt and Road initiative holds great promise too. This issue will also be discussed at the joint ministerial meeting. “We see business entities show interest in this issue and we need to support such interest,” he said.

In June 2019 the industrial park Great Stone will host a high-level event within the framework of the Belt and Road initiative. “Given the serious business component, this event will contribute to the efforts to fill the idea of aligning the integration processes in the Great Eurasia with real content,” the minister said.

There is progress in the dialogue with another major association, namely the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which has consistently been reinforcing the economic dimension. “Held last month in Dushanbe, the meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of the SCO members and observers demonstrated the willingness of the parties to enhance interaction in this organization. Belarus suggests focusing on the following promising areas of cooperation: information, food security and nuclear safety, the development of information technologies,” Vladimir Makei said.

Comparable levels of integration in the EAEU and in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) makes it possible to discuss the idea of aligning these two associations, the minister said. Belarus hopes that the memorandum of cooperation between the Eurasian Economic Commission and ASEAN recently signed in Singapore will give a new impetus to the work in the area.

“We suggest considering an opportunity to submit a joint decision to one of the forthcoming EAEU events to focus the Eurasian Economic Commission on establishing closer information exchanges with counterparts in the secretariats of the Belt and Road Initiative, SCO, and ASEAN. Such exchanges can result in the development of a special analytical report on the alignment of integration processes in Great Eurasia and the identification of promising cooperation areas,” he said.

According to Belarus, such alignment should be practical. This means the development of infrastructure links between countries in transport and energy sectors, the development of complementary mechanisms of cooperation between various integration processes, the creation of a smooth environment for trade, economic and investment cooperation.

“As part of our efforts to strengthen interaction between the EAEU and pan-Asian integration associations, we will also discuss the idea of developing the Big Eurasian Continental Partnership and, with geographical reference in mind, the prospect of a common economic space from Lisbon, through Minsk and Vladivostok, to Jakarta,” Vladimir Makei added.

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