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Opinions & Interviews

24 Nov 2016

Positive changes in Belarus-EU relations noted

Positive changes in Belarus-EU relations noted

MINSK, 24 November (BelTA) – Positive changes have been registered in Belarus’ relations with the European Union. Belarusian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Alena Kupchyna made the relevant statement during the Minsk Forum on 24 November, BelTA has learned. This year’s forum focused on discussing Belarus-Germany-EU: Prospects for European Neighborhood and Security.

The official said that this year’s Minsk Forum represents a vivid testimony of the fact that changes in Belarus-Germany relations and in Belarus-EU relations are positive. “We are now working in a totally different atmosphere and have already achieved concrete results,” said the Belarusian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.

She reminded that the Minsk Forum traditionally gathers representatives of government agencies, business circles, the general public, politicians, diplomats and experts from Belarus, Germany, and other countries for the European Union for the sake of having an open discussion about a broad spectrum of matters concerning bilateral relations and the regional agenda. The Belarusian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs thanked the forum organizers for the initiative to create such an important platform that makes a significant contribution to the advancement of the dialogue between countries.

“Events of the last few years, most of all the Ukrainian crisis, have demonstrated how fragile peace in the European region is, how vulnerable our common security is. I am convinced that preserving peace, stability, and security in Europe is the most important task and priority for Belarus, Germany, and the European Union as a whole,” said the Belarusian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.

In her words, European countries, including Germany, have come to see Belarus as an important and reliable partner and neighbor, as a sovereign and independent nation that tries to maintain friendly relations with all the neighboring states. Nowadays Belarus is a country that makes a genuine contribution to stronger security in the region, she said. “The changes in the approaches towards recognizing Belarus in Europe have contributed a lot to the normalization of relations between Belarus and Germany and between Belarus and the European Union. The process meets long-term strategic interests of all the participating parties,” stressed the Belarusian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Alena Kupchyna thanked German colleagues for support in advancing Belarus’ dialogue with the European Union, including within the framework of the Eastern Partnership Initiative. “Belarus is interested in expanding Belarusian-German cooperation, including the parliamentary dimension, and in tight interaction with colleagues from Germany in view of Germany’s forthcoming presidency in the OSCE and Belarus’ forthcoming presidency in the Central European Initiative next year,” she added.

Belarus views Germany and the European Union as a whole as exceptionally important economic partners. This is why, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs believes, the forum discussion about ways to step up economic relations, enable more favorable conditions for the joint operation of companies, attract investments and technologies, and support small and medium businesses is of special interest.

The Minsk Forum is scheduled for 24-26 November. It has been organized by the German-Belarusian Society. The co-organizers include the Johannes Rau International Education Center in Minsk and the public association Discussion and Analysis Society Liberal Club. The forum has been arranged with assistance of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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