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Opinions & Interviews

24 Nov 2017

Makei expects Belarus’ new agreement with EU to be signed soon

Makei expects Belarus’ new agreement with EU to be signed soon

BRUSSELS, 24 November (BelTA) – The framework agreement on cooperation between Belarus and the European Union may be signed soon, Belarus’ Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei told the media upon his arrival in Brussels to take part in the summit of the EU’s initiative Eastern Partnership on 24 November, BelTA has learned.

“I am convinced that the agreement will be signed, and this will happen sooner rather than later. We are working on it together with our European partners,” the minister said.

In his words, nothing prevents the parties from concluding the agreement. But each party needs to undertake certain steps. “There is an understanding that the document is needed,” the minister stressed. As was earlier informed, the current relations between Belarus and the EU are based on the agreement that was signed during the Soviet times.

According to Vladimir Makei, the summit in Brussels will also discuss the Partnership Priorities with the European Union through 2020. The document is under the coordination of the member states.

Vladimir Makei was also asked what effect the partnership on mobility may bring. “The matter is about our cooperation in the field of migration. It has been concluded between Belarus and the European Union, and we are working on further implementation of the agreement. Probably, it means nothing for a regular Belarusian. It has more to do with our agreements with the European Union in the field of migration, with our ability to reach agreements on how to work with the illegal immigrants who go to one or another part of our region,” the minister noted.

Another question was about nuclear safety and, in particular, the construction of the nuclear power plant in Belarus. Vladimir Makei stressed that Belarus is open to cooperation. “Moreover, we may have not conducted the stress tests but we did. Because this is a requirement of the European Commission. We conducted them, and it was our decision,” he said.

The Eastern Partnership (EaP) is a joint initiative involving the EU, its member states and six eastern European partners: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The initiative was conceived as a special Eastern continuation of the European neighborhood policy which implies the establishment of bilateral and multilateral relations.

 

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