MINSK, 17 November (BelTA) – Setting specific goals to improve the well-being of societies and competitiveness of economies should be at the heart of the EU's initiative Eastern Partnership, Belarus' Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei said at the Minsk Forum, BelTA has learned.
“I am convinced that in this case our movement on the path towards democracy and civil society would be a lot faster. I am glad that the European Union is gradually coming to this understanding. We hope that the forthcoming summit in Brussels on 24 November will consolidate this trend and make the Eastern Partnership more effective, equitable and adjusted to the current realities,” Vladimir Makei said.
“We have always wanted the Eastern Partnership to benefit regional development. We need a fair balance between economic growth and democracy, pace and sustainability of reforms,” Vladimir Makei stressed.
He noted that two of the six countries of the Eastern Partnership are members of the Eurasian Economic Union, and three states are participants of the free trade zones with the European Union. “Thus, the Eastern Partnership is a place of contact, on a daily basis, between two integration associations. This initiative is therefore objectively destined to play a role in their approximation. The interests of cooperation within the framework of the Eastern Partnership dictate that it take fully into account the partner countries' relations with other regional players and be open to interaction with them,” the minister noted.
Vladimir Makei stressed that Belarus is interested in a strong and influential EU. “In this part of Europe Belarus needs a strong and influential EU as a partner. The Belarusian head of state has repeatedly spoken about this. We believe that the key to the EU credibility and influence is realistic objectives and respecting the specific needs and requirements of the region as a whole and each of its countries,” he noted.
On the other hand, the minister continued, reliable neighbors is the guarantee of the EU stability.More about Politics