Mr. Lukashenko noted that the situation regarding foreign policy priorities and interests is not bad, saying, “We do not have any ambitions on the international arena. We are not positioning ourselves as a global power and not interfering in other countries’ problems or domestic matters. We need to deal with our own issues first. We do not want to create any problems for our neighbours or any other state. Moreover, we are not able to create these problems. We cannot remember a single incident when any of our neighbours complained that we intervened in their domestic affairs.”
Speaking of the economic situation, the President stressed that some issues have already been discussed. “Naturally, some chronic problems remain — including those related to exports. We have an open economy and sell most of our output abroad, which underpins our foreign economic strategy,” he added.
Mr. Lukashenko underlined that ‘diversification of exports and the search for new markets are of utmost importance’. “It is a matter of survival for Belarus. The Foreign Ministry should proceed from this standpoint,” he asserted.
In turn, Mr. Makei stressed that the Foreign Ministry is aiming for a multi-vector policy and diversification and that, at the moment, normal dialogue with the EU, America and Asia looks promising. Positive trends in exports are also evident.
The President heard a report on the results of the Foreign Ministry’s activity this year, including the development of co-operation with foreign countries and various regions, and the work of integration structures. According to Mr. Makei, the Ministry has prepared proposals on new forms of work on foreign markets, which take into consideration the peculiarities of the present international situation — including in the economic sphere. In the future, these proposals will be sent to the Government.
By Veniamin Mikheev