MINSK, 4 February (BelTA) – It is high time for more intensive contacts between Belarus and Lithuania, Lithuania's Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevicius said as he met with Belarus Prime Minister Sergei Rumas on 4 February, BelTA has learned.
“It is high time for more active relations, contacts and open talks, although, despite all the progress [in bilateral cooperation], there are differences. These differences, however are not the reason not to talk. We need to do it,” Linas Linkevicius said.
According to Sergei Rumas, Belarus and Lithuania are neighbors and the vicinity of markets, historically established deep cultural and close relations set a robust foundation which enables the two countries build mutually beneficial cooperation.
“Belarus has been steadily developing trade and economic cooperation with Lithuania. In 2019, our trade has reached $1.5 billion. Over the past five years Belarusian cargoes have accounted for 30% of the Klaipeda port shipments,” the Belarusian head of government said.
Visa issuance data also testifies to an active mutual interest. According to Sergei Rumas, efforts to improve the flow-through capacity at the border and synchronize the operation of the border and customs services of Belarus and Lithuania are becoming an important task for the governments of the two countries.
The prime minister is confident that the potential of the Belarusian-Lithuanian cooperation is still hugely untapped. “It could have been much extensive. We need to invest joint efforts, including through fostering a favorable political climate,” the Belarusian head of government said.
The Belarusian-Lithuanian forum, which is due in Klaipeda on 14-15 May, will promote further development of bilateral cooperation. Sergei Rumas named themes that can be of mutual interest at the forum. This is cooperation in transport, logistics, forestry, woodworking, information and digital technologies. He also believes that it is necessary to resume the operation of the intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation.
Linas Linkevicius conveyed an invitation to Sergei Rumas from the Lithuanian prime minister to visit the forum in Klaipeda in May.
Photos by Maksim Guchek