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Opinions & Interviews

22 Jun 2018

Makei confident Belarus, EU will settle issues

Makei confident Belarus, EU will settle issues

MINSK, 22 June (BelTA) – Belarus and the European Union will be able to settle all the issues on the mutual agenda, Belarus’ Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei told the media on 22 June, BelTA has learned.

According to Vladimir Makei, over the past two or three years Belarus and the European Union have made great progress in mutual relations which are important to both sides.

“We consider participation in the Eastern Partnership as a vital part of our common cooperation with the EU in all the areas,” the minister said. “This initiative is important to us since it provides more opportunities for rapprochement with generally accepted European standards in various sectors,” he added.

The minister stressed that significant results have been achieved over the last few years. “In general, trade and economic cooperation with the EU has improved. Last year mutual trade increased by 20% both in imports and exports. Cooperation with the financial institutions of the European Union has significantly expanded, primarily with the EBRD and the European Investment Bank,” Vladimir Makei said. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has increased financing for Belarus. Since 1992 the bank has provided more than $2 billion to Belarus. Among successful examples of mutually beneficial cooperation the minister also named projects related to road construction, house insulation, and building of water treatment facilities.

Vladimir Makei added that the parties should not stop at what has been already achieved. It is necessary to move further and strengthen cooperation with the European Union. In his opinion, the signing of Belarus-EU partnership priorities will contribute to the matter.

The 10th EaP Informal Ministerial Dialogue took place in Minsk on 21-22 June. Attending the foreign political segment of the event that was chaired by Vladimir Makei on 22 June were Azerbaijan Minister of Foreign Affairs Elmar Mammadyarov, Armenia Minister of Foreign Affairs Zohrab Mnatsakanian, Deputy Head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Vakhtang Maharoblishvili, State Secretary of Moldova’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Daniela Morari, and Ukraine’s Ambassador to Belarus Igor Kizim.

Taking part in the event on the EU’s behalf were Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn and Deputy Secretary General for Political Affairs of the European External Action Service Jean-Christophe Belliard.

The plenary session included an exchange of opinions on the Eastern Partnership prospects (taking into account the results of the Brussels summit in 2017) and the situation in the region. The participants of the meeting talked over the ways to implement 20 EaP goals through 2020 coordinated at the summit and the financing of the corresponding projects and programs.

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