21 July 2017, Friday, 5:50

Makej on the dialogue with EU: It should not be the matter of freeing political prisoners

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In the opinion of the head of Belarus’ MFA, “one should not hinge solely on the demand to release a certain number of persons”.

“We are ready for an open, candid, equal dialogue with the European Union. It seems to me that our European partners are gradually reaching the understanding that it is necessary to cooperate, have a dialogue with each other, cooperate in the spheres, where it is possible and beneficial both for Belarus and the European Union. In this context we spoke during my visit to Latvia and Lithuania on 27 February – 1 March. We spoke, in particular, of Belarus’ participation in the Eastern Partnership”, - Uladzimir Makej said on the show ‘Main Air’ on Belarus 1 TV channel.

He emphasized that considering the latest events in Ukraine this initiative needs reformatting. “The same requirements should not be put forward for all of the countries of the Eastern Partnership. We want to be in good relations with the European Union, but the level of these relations should be different. Coming from that, the EU should build its relations, approach the initiative’s participants differently”, - the head of the ministry highlighted.

“One must not hinge solely on the demand to release a certain number of people, who got punished for specific crimes. It should be the matter of completely different things. It should be the matter of building a long-term strategy for the relations between Belarus and the European Union”, - Uladzimir Makej said.

“It is important for Europe to have Belarus as a sovereign independent, territorially integral state, which makes its contribution to ensuring European stability and security. Belarus should be an island of stability and security from Europe’s point of view. Let’s set this goal and move towards it”, - the minister emphasized.

“Geographically we are located in Europe. But we should be in Europe not only geographically, but also politically, economically and in terms of trade. The European Union is our second largest trading and economic partner after Russia”, - Uladzimir Makej said.