Obligations don’t contradict co-operation

Belarus wishes normal relations with USA on mutually beneficial terms
“We’ve never concealed the fact that we can’t enjoy fully-fledged external policy without normalising relations with the United States. We don’t hide that we’d like to normalise relations with the USA on mutually beneficial terms,” noted the Belarusian Head of State, on meeting the US Charge d’Affaires, Scott Rauland.

Scott Rauland

The President of Belarus commented that some improvement is evident in relations between Belarus and the USA, saying, “It would be a little insincere to say that everything is well in relations between our states, even from a diplomatic point of view, but they are much better than they were, and we’re moving in the right direction. You probably won’t disagree.”

Mr. Lukashenko asserts that Belarus has certain commitments to its neighbouring countries, including close co-operation with Russia, China and India. “These are our strategic allies, our partners. We have signed corresponding agreements with them,” he stated. The Head of State also touched upon the development of Belarusian-US trade-economic collaboration, noting, “When US businessmen come here, I meet with them to discuss the investment climate in Belarus. I tell them that work in Belarus is conducted in line with US laws. We’ll create a relevant legal framework for you. They say they’d like to be guided by Belarusian law, and I’m grateful to them for this. It’s strong leverage for me and the basis for negotiations with other businessmen.”

“I’d like you to understand that no avenues of co-operation are closed to you. We have no commitments to other states that would conflict with our co-operation with the United States. Even the Russians say that it’s absolutely necessary to have normal relations with Western Europe and the United States,” stressed Mr. Lukashenko.

The President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, underlined the importance of preserving the independence and sovereignty of Belarus, emphasising, “Independence and sovereignty are sacred to me, as President of the country, and the Belarusian people. We will never agree to become non-sovereign, or to be dependent,” he stressed. “We’ll be doing everything to remain so [independent and sovereign]. We’ll work quietly, without clamour or fanfare but we’ll always be independent. God sees that the Belarusian people have earned this right by history. You know it well, too.”

The US Charge d’Affaires to Belarus, Scott Rauland, sees an opportunity for full normalisation of Belarusian-US relations. He notes, “We’re very pleased with the progress we’ve reached over the last two years. We’d like to thank you and the Foreign Ministry for co-operating with us across many issues. We hope that this brings a positive impulse for complete normalisation of future relationships. Washington would like me to tell you that we’re ready for further co-operation with Belarus for the benefit of a bright future and that the territorial sovereignty and independence of Belarus should remain at the highest and strongest level.”

By Alexander Pimenov
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