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06 April 2021, 14:27

Belarus to shut down embassies in several countries, step up diplomatic presence in other ones

MINSK, 6 April (BelTA) – Belarusian embassies in several countries may be shut down, BelTA learned from Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei after the government conference hosted by the head of state to discuss the optimization of the network of Belarusian diplomatic missions abroad.

Vladimir Makei said: “We will shut down our embassies at least in several countries where we see that their work has not produced the necessary foreign economic effect for a lengthy period of time.”

“But we will pay attention to the expansion of our presence in promising regions. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko has repeatedly talked about it,” Vladimir Makei noted.

The minister of foreign affairs reminded about the president's earlier instruction to always pay more attention to the effective operation of Belarusian diplomatic missions considering the fact that they spend or have to spend two thirds of their time on foreign economic affairs. Vladimir Makei said: “It is the key indicator of their performance. The previous optimization took place in 2017-2018. A lot of events have happened since then, this is why it is now necessary to revise the previous concept of operation of the diplomatic missions and optimize it. We thoroughly studied the matter bearing in mind the requirements the head of state wants the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the foreign policy to meet and forwarded the relevant proposals for consideration of the government and the Belarus President Administration. The proposals have been discussed and they were reported to the head of state today.”

Vladimir Makei explained that optimization plans had been drafted bearing in mind the level of development of foreign economic relations with specific countries and bearing in mind foreign economic cooperation, trade turnover, and the volume of Belarus' export.

“I don't want to say we will shut down ten embassies in one region and will open ten in another region right away. It won't happen like that. We will proceed incrementally. We've reported our strategy to the president and the strategy was generally approved,” Vladimir Makei said. He remarked that the total number of Belarusian diplomatic missions and their funding will not be increased.

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