MINSK, 7 July (BelTA) – Belarus is ready to begin work on a framework agreement on partnership and cooperation with the European Union, Belarus' Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei told a press conference during his visit to Latvia on 7 July, BelTA has learned.
“We understand that this requires certain discussion within the EU. We, in Belarus, are ready to commence work on the agreement. It will be in the interests of both Belarus, which wants to normalize the relations with the EU, and the European Union,” Vladimir Makei said.
“You are well aware of the problems we had in the relations with the EU. Not long ago the Council of the European Union decided to lift the majority of restrictions in our cooperation with the European Union. We view it as a positive sign,” the minister said.
In his words, there are steps that the two parties can and should take in order to normalize the relations between Belarus and the EU. “We are actively working on these steps. We are satisfied with the continuing positive progress in our relations with the EU. One of the main steps in this regard is the signing of a new framework agreement between Belarus and the European Union. This fact was also mentioned by Mr Rinkevics (Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkevics – BelTA's note),” said the Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs.
According to Vladimir Makei, today's situation is somewhat absurd: “We are still guided by the old agreement that was signed between the USSR and the European Economic Community in 1989. The document is absolutely out of date and does not correspond to the situation we have today.”
According to the minister, there are the standard templates of the agreements that the EU concludes with other countries. “We have a basis for such an agreement. Of course, there are certain aspects regarding the cooperation with a concrete country. However, this is the work for the future. The main thing for now is to take a decision of principle on the appropriateness and necessity of the conclusion of the framework agreement,” Vladimir Makei said.