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Opinions & Interviews

18 Apr 2018

Opinion: Belarus-Azerbaijan relations have been rapidly developing

Opinion: Belarus-Azerbaijan relations have been rapidly developing

MINSK, 18 April (BelTA) – The relations between Belarus and Azerbaijan have been developing rapidly, with a sincere interest from the two heads of state and the governments, Belarus’ Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Andrei Dapkiunas said in an interview with, BelTA informs.

“Our cooperation is acquiring a new dimension, new aspects, primarily in trade and economy. I believe that our cooperation can become an example for other countries of the region to follow,” he said.

The deputy minister also spoke about Belarus’ relations with Russia and the EU: “First of all, they are partners for us. Russia is our closest and like-minded ally. We are also reaching mutual understanding and agreement with the EU countries. Some may view this as unique but this is just a normal position of the country which is situated at the crossroads of the trade and geopolitical routes. With neighbors who are there to stay forever, you have the only possible option, which is to build equal, respectful, mutually beneficial and trust-based relations with all the partners. It is not about choosing friends, or drawing dividing lines. It is about working to achieve greater understanding in all the areas.”

When asked about the measures of political influence such as sanctions, Andrei Dapkiunas noted: “No matter how good the motives for using such a coercive tool may seem, this has almost never led to an improvement of the situation, the search for greater creativity. Sanctions only create a feeling of some action, but they do not help the situation. It is clear that the dialogue may sometimes be painful or difficult. However, this is the only way to come to an agreement. This is what diplomats should do.”

“Every new event in the world calls into question the stability of the whole system. Statements like “I am friends with someone” cannot last for centuries. Every day we work to prove the credibility of our country, to earn the trust of our neighbors. Belarus has never threatened anyone, and we want to see the principles of good-neighborliness, respect and dialogue between countries, regardless of their political weight, across our region and the whole world,” he said.

According to the deputy minister, Belarus welcomes any respectful formats of dialogue, interaction of the countries of the region with their neighbors, close and distant partners. Therefore, Minsk is interested in continuing such cooperation, including with Azerbaijan. “I think that such a format of interaction as the EU Eastern Partnership brings benefits as it is based on the principles of justice, equality and respectful attitude towards one another,” Andrei Dapkiunas stressed.

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