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Opinions & Interviews

9 Jul 2018

Makei: Time to take off rose-tinted glasses

Makei: Time to take off rose-tinted glasses

MINSK, 9 July (BelTA) – Belarus has to pursue its political and economic goals amidst a challenging environment, Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei said in his opening speech at the annual seminar for heads of Belarusian diplomatic missions and consular institutions on 9 July, BelTA has learned.

“Examples illustrating global trends in foreign policy and international trade are in plain view. The number and scale of disagreements between countries is not going to wind down, unfortunately. Conflict potential remains high in the world. Harsh rhetoric, sanctions, retaliatory measures, including in relations between some of our main partners, raise concerns,” the minister said.

In his words, the rise of protectionism in some countries and countermeasures by others represent a serious threat to the existing system of international trade. Disagreements might trigger a real trade war that can affect other countries.

“Therefore, with the best will in the world we will not be able to look at things with rose-tinted glasses. Things turned quite tough in the East and West a long time ago and prospects are bleak. Economic growth projections by reputable international organizations and financial institutions do not add optimism,” Vladimir Makei said.

The minister added that Belarus has strengthened its image as a place that fosters integration and helps resolve regional conflicts. Now it is exploring an expert dimension within the framework of conference diplomacy aimed to restore mutual trust and ease tensions in Europe. “This status implies great responsibility. It encourages many political and economic partners to have a fresh look at Belarus. At the same time, this status needs to be fueled, it requires persistent efforts and hard work to assert itself,” the minister of foreign affairs said.

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