Diversification is vital to policy
By Igor Sviridov
Addressing Vyacheslav Beskostny, the Belarusian Ambassador to Nigeria, the Head of State noted that Belarus is beginning to conquer the African continent. “There’s serious interest towards Belarus there and we’ve already begun making liaisons, searching for support. We now need foundations in the form of an embassy in Nigeria,” asserted Mr. Lukashenko. “You should be ready to expand your activity. If we implement 2-3 projects in Nigeria, this will be quite enough initially. However, you should also see what the neighbouring states have to offer. Furthermore, I’ll even take steps to reduce our presence in those regions which have no desire to co-operate with us, moving our major diplomatic efforts to those in which we are welcome and where we can gain feedback from such collaboration,” noted the President. He has asked Vladimir Makei, the Head of the Presidential Administration, to ‘take serious control, using this concept to guide the development of our relations with the African continent, working jointly with the Foreign Minister’.
As far as Belarus’ interaction with Asia is concerned, Mr. Lukashenko views it as successful. “We’ve gained a foothold almost everywhere. Recently, we appointed an ambassador to Indonesia. Of course, we have no envoy in Australia; it’s a matter for the future. However, we have good relations with Asia and sufficient force there,” he stresses.
The Belarusian leader added that his strategy of co-operation with Latin American countries primarily focuses on large states, such as Venezuela and Brazil. Moreover, mutual interest is observed in contacts with Argentina.
“We should keep a reserve and diversify our foreign policy, opening embassies in large, influential countries like Nigeria,” he notes. “We have an open, export-oriented economy, so must interact with other states.”