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Opinions & Interviews

25 May 2018

Opinion: Eastern Partnership initiative is an instrument to support its member states

Opinion: Eastern Partnership initiative is an instrument to support its member states

MINSK, 25 May (BelTA) – The EU’s Eastern Partnership initiative is an instrument to support its member states, Program Director for Belarus at the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (Germany) Wolfgang Zender said in an interview to the Belarus 1 TV channel on 24 May, BelTA has learned.

The expert stated that there is criticism of the Eastern Partnership role. However, the essence of the initiative is that its agreements are aimed at the participating countries in the first place. The Eastern Partnership was designed not to harm Russia. This is not an instrument to push the Eastern Partnership countries, including Belarus, towards the European Union. This is a tool to support the participating countries in infrastructure matters, in maintaining and developing the standards of living. This is beneficial for Belarus,” said Wolfgang Zender.

In his opinion, this initiative should transform on a regular basis. The Eastern Partnership should be more meaningful and comprehensive in order to preserve the interest of the participating countries. For this, the European Union needs to listen to the advice and recommendations of the stakeholders, including Belarus.

Commenting on the forum "Eastern Europe: In Search of Security for All", which is underway in Minsk, Wolfgang Zender noted that the country is an ideal venue to discuss security issues. The forum helps Europeans with little knowledge about ​​the country to take a fresh look at it. “This is an open forum, discussions without restrictions, a very high organizational level of the negotiations. This demonstrates us a modern open Belarus,” he said.

The international forum “Eastern Europe: In Search of Security for All” is underway as part of the Minsk Dialogue initiative in the Belarusian capital on 23-25 May. Minsk Dialogue Forum 2018 will represent the next milestone in the initiative’s development. It will launch a large annual gathering of leading experts from Eastern Europe, the EU, Russia, the United States, and China. The forum will provide a new platform for discussions about the present and the future of the regional and international security.

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