Discussion to define future relationships
New features appear in Belarus-EU relations
Alexander Lukashenko hopes for a productive dialogue with the European Union, as he met with the Deputy Secretary General for the European External Action Service (EEAS) Helga Maria Schmid. “I hope that it’s the beginning of a dialogue with the European Union. We have been talking a lot about the relations between the EU and Belarus recently. I think that it’s a good thing that we are making progress. At least, now the relations between Belarus and the European Union are more clearly defined,” said the President. Mr. Lukashenko stressed that Belarus is ready to build relations with the EU on an equal and non-discriminatory basis.
Mr. Lukashenko stressed the importance of Belarus’ contribution to common security on the European continent. “In the light of recent events in Europe, Belarus is one of the countries that can play an important part in building up a safe Europe. All other issues can be relegated in the face of threats to national security. In this respect our country, which is geographically situated in the centre of Europe, can add its weight to help influence such matters.” emphasised the President.
According to the President, Belarus is ready to do its utmost to promote co-operation from Lisbon to Vladivostok as far as security is concerned. As Belarus holds its presidency in the Eurasian Economic Union, the country is ready to do its utmost to make the project a success and hopes are high of imminent action.
Mr. Lukashenko expressed his opinion on interaction within the framework of the Eastern Partnership initiative of which Belarus is a member. Belarus joined the initiative hoping that this would help to build a bridge between the East and West. “This is how it should be. The recent events have shown that we should not create additional dividing lines. The Eastern Partnership initiative is meant to unite countries, not push them apart. We need to look for common ground within the framework of the Eastern Partnership project and bring the partner states together. This will benefit the European Union and Europe in general,” stated the President.
In turn, Helga Maria Schmid agreed that the Eastern Partnership should not create new dividing lines in Europe. “It was meant initially to facilitate the development of the partner states and promote stability in the region. All countries who are members of the Eastern Partnership are independent and equal,” she added. Ms. Schmid also thanked the Belarusians for ‘their contribution to the settlement of a very complex crisis in the European region’.
By Vladimir Khromov