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Opinions & Interviews

22 May 2018

Makei responds to public statements by Lithuanian MFA on Belarus

Makei responds to public statements by Lithuanian MFA on Belarus

MINSK, 22 May (BelTA) – Belarus’ Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei responded to the public statements made by the head of the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevicius with respect to Belarus as he met with the delegation of Ambassadors-at-Large for the Eastern Partnership, BelTA learned from the press service of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“Commenting on the recent public remarks by the Lithuanian minister of foreign affairs on Belarus, Vladimir Makei told the EU representatives the following: the state sovereignty is the highest value for the Republic of Belarus. In today's world there are no completely self-sufficient countries. Some of the states that accuse Belarus of ‘being dependent’ on third countries are themselves largely dependent on Belarus,” the press service noted.

Quoting Vladimir Makei the press service said that the difficulties in crossing the Belarusian-Lithuanian border are mainly related to the underdevelopment of the customs infrastructure on the Lithuanian side. In this connection, the Lithuanian side was advised to bring the level of its infrastructure to at least the level Belarus has achieved with the assistance of the EU. The Belarusian side is ready to work together with Lithuania to remove the barriers to travel and to facilitate border crossing.

“Contrary to the statements of the Lithuanian minister of foreign affairs, Belarus is fully open to dialogue regarding the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant with specialized international organizations and, first and foremost, the IAEA. The claims that Belarus can allegedly ‘manipulate’ the opinion of the world’s most authoritative organization in nuclear safety are groundless and do not attest to the high professionalism of their authors,” the press service said.

According to Vladimir Makei, Belarus is a reliable and predictable partner of the EU, not a source of instability. The country does not demand EU membership or any preferential relations. Belarus is interested in normal, pragmatic and mutually beneficial cooperation. In this regard, we need to make the relations well-structured and sustainable in the interests of the two sides and regional stability in general, the minister stressed.

Taking part in the meeting were ambassadors-at-large from Poland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Romania, Finland, Slovenia, Hungary, Slovakia, Lithuania, the UK, Austria and Germany and also Andrea Wiktorin, the head of the EU Delegation to Belarus. The delegation is on a working visit to Belarus.

The participants of the meeting shared opinions on the state of Belarus-EU relations and the ways to improve the practical effect from the Eastern Partnership initiative. The parties discussed the preparations for the informal meeting of foreign ministers and heads of digital ministries of the Eastern Partnership in Minsk on 21-22 June 2018 and the implementation of the agreements made at the EaP Summit in Brussels in 2017.

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