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07 April 2021, 18:08

Belarus interested in good neighborly relations with Latvia

MINSK, 7 April (BelTA) – Belarus is interested in advancing good neighborly relations and mutually beneficial cooperation with Latvia in a broad range of matters. Anna Starovoitova, a member of the International Affairs Commission of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus, made the statement during an online meeting of members of the Belarusian parliament's working group on cooperation with the Latvian parliament with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Latvia to Belarus Einars Semanis, BelTA has learned.

The MP said: “We believe it is important to invigorate cooperation between the Belarusian parliament and the Latvian one. It will contribute to the development of the bilateral mutually beneficial dialogue in the spirit of good neighborly relations. I am convinced that future interaction between our countries at all levels will continue actively after pandemic-related restrictions are lifted. In turn, it will foster the all-round expansion of cooperation in the interests of our nations. For my part, I would like to note that the Belarusian parliament is open to the dialogue and is ready to interact in any format.”

in her words, it has been nearly 30 years since Belarus-Latvia diplomatic relations were established. “We were and are connected by tight cultural and economic relations. Last year demonstrated that the world is rapidly changing and it seems to us it is necessary to adequately adapt to new conditions, wisely use the available resources, and carefully treat the contacts that have been established, interact in the interests of our nations. In addition to multiple risks new opportunities are opening up, which one should exploit wisely,” the MP noted. “But I would like to note that prior to 2020 the interparliamentary bilateral dialogue was invigorated, contacts were maintained at the level of heads of government and between the ministries of foreign affairs. But, unfortunately, after the presidential election in Belarus in August 2020 Latvia froze contacts with Belarusian officials and took a number of unfriendly steps.”

Anna Starovoitova stressed that the Belarusian nation has everything it needs to establish stability in the society on its own on the basis of the balance of interests of the entire population. “We sincerely count on a measured, constructive stance and confirm readiness for future fruitful cooperation for the benefit of our nations and the international community,” she stated. “Despite tensions in the political dimension Belarus and Latvia actively cooperate in economic affairs. In 2020 Belarus-Latvia trade totaled $393.6 million. Promising avenues of cooperation include woodworking, pharmaceutics, food production, and tourism. Belarusian producers are interested in selling electric buses, agricultural machines, lifts, construction materials, cables, and other products to satisfy Latvia's needs. There is a considerable potential for the development of bilateral cooperation in the sphere of services, particularly in the information and communications technologies industry, which demonstrates steady growth in the two countries.”

In turn, Einars Semanis said: “I have to admit that time is very complicated in all relations. But diplomatic communication channels should remain open. I think today's meeting is a testimony and a confirmation of that. I'd like to express hope that our relations can develop in the future. Our nation truly desires good neighborly relations and wishes Belarus to be an independent, sovereign, stable, economically developed and democratic country. It has always been and is our main stance,” the ambassador stated.

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