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Opinions & Interviews

24 Oct 2017

Makei to Financial Times: Belarus tries to pursue its own independent policy

Makei to Financial Times: Belarus tries to pursue its own independent policy

MINSK, 24 October (BelTA) – Belarus just tries to pursue its own independent policy, Belarus’ Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei said in an interview to the Financial Times, BelTA has learned.

“We do not want to depend on anyone, be it Washington, Brussels, or Moscow. We just want to pursue our own independent policy. We would like to diversify our trade and economic relations and the EU plays a very important role in our plans,” the minister said.

He noted that during the world economic and financial crisis it is extremely important for middle-sized states like Belarus to have diversified relations with many states.

Speaking about the contacts with the European Union, Vladimir Makei emphasized the need to develop a modern legal framework for cooperation. Cooperation between Belarus and the EU is currently based on the 1989 agreement between the former Soviet Union and European Communities. “We need a concrete basic agreement between Belarus and the EU,” the Belarusian minister said.

He added that the expansion of the trade and economic cooperation with the EU would help Belarus strengthen its political independence.

The minister emphasized that Minsk is prepared to discuss even “sensitive” issues with European partners. He pointed, however, to the importance of a consistent and developmental approach to different transformations. “You cannot “go to bed” in the totalitarian Soviet Union and “wake up” in a totally democratic state. It is impossible,” Vladimir Makei said.

The minister also spoke about Belarus’ cooperation with China, which totally corresponds to Belarus’ goals of diversifying relations with foreign partners. It also strengthens the country’s political and economic independence. It is important that China has never put forward conditions to develop cooperation more actively.

Vladimir Makei stressed that Russia remains Minsk’s strategic partner. Speaking about the concerns recently voiced about the Belarus-Russia joint military exercise Zapad 2017, the minister said that the concerns were “totally artificially created noise”. “We do not pose a threat to our neighbors or any other countries,” he added.

The Financial Times (FT) is an English-language international daily newspaper with a special emphasis on business and economic news. The newspaper was founded in London in 1888 and ranked in the list of so-called quality publications alongside with, for example, The Times and The Guardian.

The Financial Times has an average daily readership of 2.2 million people, including internet users, worldwide.

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