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Opinions & Interviews

10 Mar 2014

Sidorenko: Potential for EU-Belarus cooperation not used fully

Sidorenko: Potential for EU-Belarus cooperation not used fully

MINSK, 10 March (BelTA) - Development potential of mutually beneficial relations between the EU and Belarus is not used fully, Denis Sidorenko, the head of the pan-European cooperation department at the Foreign Ministry of Belarus, said at the information event "EU-Belarus: a look into the past and the future" which is hosted by the Johannes Rau International Education Center in Minsk, BelTA learned.

“Belarus is interested in developing mutually beneficial relations with the European Union. We share the border and security threats: illegal migration, drug trafficking, trafficking in human beings. However, the potential for the development of cooperation between the EU and Belarus is not used fully,” said Denis Sidorenko. One of the factors hindering the development of meaningful partnerships, in his opinion, is the absence of the necessary legal framework. "The cooperation agreements signed back in the 1990s are not yet in force," the diplomat said.

Despite the difficult relations of Belarus with the EU, diplomats continue a dialogue on the full range of issues and seek common ground. Belarus is actively involved in the Eastern Partnership initiating the dialogues in the fields of environment, customs, energy, economy and finance.

According to Denis Sidorenko, one of the most important avenues of cooperation with the EU is technical interaction. "Today the European Union is the main donor of technical assistance to Belarus. The volume of technical assistance is in the hundreds of millions of euros,” said the diplomat. Technical assistance is used to carry out modernization of national border guards and customs infrastructures, exchange of experience and new projects in the energy, transport, environmental, educational and cultural areas.

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