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11 December 2017, 12:53

Belarus does not plan to join EU, but shows interest in EaP

An archive photo
An archive photo

MINSK, 11 December (BelTA) – Belarus does not plan to join the European Union but has an interest in its Eastern Partnership initiative, Belarusian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Oleg Kravchenko noted at the forum “The European Union and its Eastern Partners: Current approaches to regional cooperation” on 11 December, BelTA has learned.

“Belarus does not intend to join the EU. However, since we are trading partners, we have many tourist, educational, and personal contacts with the EU and we are directly interested in the Eastern Partnership. This format offers additional opportunities for cooperation in the interests of our countries and nations,” Oleg Kravchenko said.

This initiative will only be a success if it has a pragmatic approach and focuses on specific projects, the deputy minister underlined. “This initiative is not a one-way street. We definitely do not want to squeeze resources out of the EU. We are all interested in security, prosperity, economic development, and the opportunities emerging for our people in education and business,” the diplomat stressed.

He added that Belarus and the EU intend to start negotiations on the framework agreement. “We do not have any plans for an association agreement. We should have the kind of document that the EU has signed with Russia. We should adopt and sign it as soon as possible,” Oleg Kravchenko underlined.

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