MINSK, 2 May (BelTA) - Belarus is interested in strengthening and developing the relations with Russia, Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei said in an interview with the Euronews TV channel, BelTA learned from the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“It's not about Russia helping the regime stay in power. Not at all. Our relations with Russia are determined by our geographical location and our history,” the minister said. “Russia is our neighbor. It is a powerful state both economically and militarily and it is a geopolitical player and this explains the need to build normal, friendly relations with this power.”
“Moreover, our relations go way back and we share centuries-long history. This is very important,” he noted.
The minister stressed that much has been achieved within the framework of the Union State. “We have practically ensured equal rights for Belarusian and Russian citizens. As to our relations with Russia, we are interested in strengthening those relations, first of all from a trade and economic point of view. We want to ensure equal rights for economic entities of Belarus and Russia within the framework of the Union State,” Vladimir Makei said.
“During the meeting that you mentioned [the meeting of the presidents of Belarus and Russia in Moscow on 22 April], they talked about further strengthening of the Union State, further integration, about the development of industrial cooperation, about equatable gas prices for hydrocarbons and so on and so forth. Given that it is beneficial for Belarus, that it strengthens its sovereignty and independence, we intend to further develop the integration processes with our neighbor, brotherly Russia,” the minister said.
He added: “The sanctions the European Union and other Western countries have imposed against Belarus only contribute to the development of the integration processes on a bilateral basis and also on a multilateral basis in the post-Soviet space.”