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Opinions & Interviews

27 Aug 2014

Minsk meeting hailed as key event for Belarus’ foreign policy

MINSK, 27 August (BelTA) – The meeting of the presidents of the Customs Union member states, Ukraine and high representatives of the European Union in Minsk on 26 August became a landmark event for Belarus’ foreign policy, Dean of the International Relations Department of the Belarusian State University Viktor Shadursky told BelTA.

“Belarus is good for this role (organizer of such talks – BelTA’s note). The other participants of the talks agreed to this venue due to Belarus’ balanced position. It is a landmark event for Belarus’ foreign policy,” Viktor Shadursky said.

The expert noted that the Minsk meeting is a successful implementation of Belarus’ multi-vector policy. He reminded that the situation in Ukraine had been discussed in Belarus before, on the local level. “We voiced our hope for a dialogue. After all, Ukraine is a neighboring state. We will feel all the repercussions of the Ukraine crisis. Therefore, our government and experts pushed for talks,” he said.

The fact that European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton took part in the meeting of the presidents of the Customs Union member states is a positive signal. “It is a good sign. After all, both Western and Belarusian experts point to a rapprochement in the Belarus-EU relations,” he said. Viktor Shadursky reminded that senior officials of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry had recently met with their European counterparts. “This trend should be cemented,” he said. Viktor Shadursky believes that it would be great if more people from the EU, including tourists, came to Belarus. The ice hockey world championship 2014 showed that it is possible.

Viktor Shadursky added: “The European Union understands that this matter (the situation in Ukraine– BelTA’s note) should be addressed. The United States is further away and is less vulnerable. The public and the economy of the United States are less affected by the hostilities in Ukraine and the sanctions”.

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