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Opinions & Interviews

18 Jan 2019

Makei: Belarus will continue a multivector foreign policy without trading in sovereignty

Makei: Belarus will continue a multivector foreign policy without trading in sovereignty

MINSK, 18 January (BelTA) – Belarus will continue pursuing a multivector foreign policy. Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei made the statement during the solemn meeting dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Belarusian diplomatic service, BelTA has learned.

Vladimir Makei said: “Our head of state sets new ambitious tasks before us, which are determined by time itself. As a self-sufficient, independent European country Belarus will continue a multivector foreign policy without trading in sovereignty depending on momentary considerations.”

In his words, the policy of advancing relations with Russia and other partners in the Eurasian space will be continued. Belarus also counts on serious dividends from levelling off and advancing contacts and the dialogue with the European Union and the USA to a proper level. Belarus is intent on bolstering relations of comprehensive cooperation and strategic partnership with China and on expanding Belarusian presence in other Asian countries. Thorough work will be continued with countries of the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. “Good headway has been secured in all areas. We need to put maximum effort into realizing it,” said the Belarusian minister of foreign affairs.

Vladimir Makei noted that Belarus had built constructive political and mutually beneficial relations with a majority of countries on all continents. Although Belarus is a small country on the global scale, it continues generating and promoting international initiatives, which gain traction and support of the international community. “Apart from the Chernobyl theme and the disarmament theme, which our country spoke for back in the Soviet period and at the dawn of independence, the world knows modern Belarus thanks to the ideas formulated by our head of state. Those ideas focus on recognizing the diversity of ways of progressive advancement as a value of the human civilization, on counteracting trafficking in persons, on promoting interests of countries with a medium-level income, supporting traditional families, building partnerships for the sake of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals,” said the Belarusian minister of foreign affairs.

Belarus’ role as a donor of European security – and not only European – is universally acknowledged. “As the state of affairs in this sphere deteriorates, our partners feel more and more strongly that the Belarusian head of state’s initiative in favor of resuming a broad dialogue about reinforcing international security by means of a new Helsinki Process is a timely and advisable one. Belarus is known as an international venue where most complicated regional and global problems are discussed even by openly conflicting sides in various formats. The problems are not only discussed. Ways to resolve them are worked out,” noted Vladimir Makei.

Vladimir Makei pointed out that Belarus is guided by the head of state’s idea of integration of integrations as the country makes speeches to promote purely uniting initiatives at international platforms as an initiator, an active participant, and, to some extent, a driver of four integration projects in the Eurasian space – the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Union State of Belarus and Russia, the Eurasian Economic Union, and the Collective Security Treaty Organization. “Yes, these associations suffer from some internal problems today. At the same time they have a serious potential from the point of view of enhancement and development of pragmatic trade, economic, defensive, scientific, and cultural ties. Approaches are now discussed in detail to coupling integration associations to each other – the Eurasian Economic Union with the European Union, the Eurasian Economic Union with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Eurasian Economic Union with the Silk Road Economic Belt, the Eurasian Economic Union with ASEAN countries,” stated Vladimir Makei.

In his words, the economic dimension of diplomacy, the contribution to export promotion and penetration of new markets have always been the main criteria to judge the performance of the Belarusian diplomatic service. Systematic export diversification while keeping and reinforcing grip on conventional markets is one of the key goals in Belarus’ economic policy.

In his speech the minister of foreign affairs spoke at length about the main milestones in the history of the Belarusian diplomatic service, which began on 22 January 2019. However, sources of Belarusian diplomacy go back to a much more distant past because Belarusian lands had foreign relations as early as in the period of the Polotsk Principality. “The age of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania deserves recognition. Many compatriots of ours worked as diplomats for countries like Rzeczpospolita and the Russian Empire,” noted the minister.

The minister of foreign affairs stressed that in its modern history the diplomatic service has more than once proven its competence, the ability to deal with tasks of any difficulty, the ability to successfully defend national interests and achieve goals at the forefront of the fight for Belarus’ independence and sovereignty. The first Belarusian ministers of foreign affairs – Kuzma Kisilev, Anatoly Gurinovich – other prominent representatives and honored veterans of the diplomatic service serve as example to follow to the current generation of diplomats.

Vladimir Makei remarked that the establishment of heraldic symbols of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a professional holiday for Belarusian diplomats, and an anniversary medal by the head of state testifies to the recognition of the importance of diplomats, of the diplomatic service’s contribution to the realization of Belarus’ foreign political and foreign economic interests. “It is a token of high trust in us on the part of the country’s leadership. We should live up to this trust with our labor and effective implementation of the tasks set by our country’s president!” added the minister of foreign affairs.

Vladimir Makei bestowed medals “100 Years of the Diplomatic Service of Belarus” upon a number of former Belarusian ministers of foreign affairs for many years of fruitful work, for considerable contributions to the development and perfection of foreign political and foreign economic activities, for strengthening Belarus’ standing in the international scene. In particular, Vladimir Makei awarded Piotr Kravchenko, Vladimir Senko, Ivan Antonovich, Ural Latypov, Mikhail Khvostov, and Sergei Martynov.

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