Posted: 14.03.2024 16:02:00

Belarus’ Deputy FM: Western Europe became key factor in global food crisis

The year 2023 set a record in number of regional armed conflicts over the past few decades, and Europe remains an arena of global power confrontation, a source of increased danger to humanity – as stated by Belarus’ Deputy Foreign Minister Yuri Ambrazevich at UNECE Regional Forum on Sustainable Development in Geneva

Photo: broadcast screenshot

“Huge resources in European countries are directed at the arms race, withdrawn from the social sector and the real economy. In Greater Europe, barriers between regional economic unions are becoming increasingly clearly formed. Restrictions on transportation, closure of border checkpoints, bans on trade, cultural co-operation and issuing visas, as well as problems with bank transactions clearly indicate that a new iron curtain is being formed,” the diplomat stated.

According to Mr. Ambrazevich, the prospects for pan-Eurasian land transit are becoming vague. “The energy infrastructure – designed to connect Europe and Asia – is rapidly transforming in the opposite directions. Western Europe became the main factor in the global food crisis, provoking by its sole actions an increase in grain prices, depriving, in particular, African countries of access to Belarusian potash fertilisers,” he said.

The Deputy Foreign Minister believes this suggests that the opportunities for implementing the Sustainable Development Goals in Europe have significantly narrowed. “This also makes Europe's leading role in the global achievement of the SDGs questionable,” he said.     

According to Mr. Ambrazevich, Belarus calmly assesses the current situation and builds its development based on its own strength and like-minded partners. “Inside the country, we firmly rely on a strong state that is engaged in solving systemic problems. The authorities are confidently developing partnerships with businesses, non-governmental organisations, young people and scientists whose invaluable contribution makes it possible to focus on narrower issues,” he stressed.

The diplomat added that such approaches help withstand a situation when bans and restrictions on trade, transportation of goods and movement of people are applied by most Western states against ordinary Belarusians and enterprises, “They make it possible not just to stand ground but also to move forward. At the same time, it is important to remember that Belarus has not initiated any unfriendly measures against Western countries. We do not do this because we understand that reducing the field for co-operation inevitably leads to a reduction in opportunities for internal development.”

At the same time, the Deputy Foreign Minister noted, “It is strange that the governments of Western states seem to believe that – by depriving their citizens of the opportunity to co-operate with Belarus – they are doing them good. True, everyone in the world would have moved much closer to the SDGs without these Western self-restrictions.”