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12 January 2018, 10:15

Makei: Russia is Belarus' strategic partner of paramount importance

MINSK, 12 January (BelTA) – Russia is Belarus' strategic partner of paramount importance in all the areas, Belarus' Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei said in an interview to Xinhua News Agency, BelTA informs.

According to Vladimir Makei, Belarus is at the intersection of East and West and feels all the negative consequences of the confrontation in the region. “I would like to reiterate that we are for having equal relations with everyone. We understand that Russia is our strategic partner of paramount importance in all the areas: political, military-political, trade and economic, humanitarian and so on,” the minister stressed.

In 2017 the trade between Belarus and Russia reached almost $30 billion. The record-high mutual trade between Belarus and Russia was $44 billion. “This figure, $30 billion, shows that the bilateral trade has increased almost six times since 1995,” the diplomat said.

The second most important trade and economic partner for Belarus is the European Union, Vladimir Makei said. “The EU gives us advanced technologies and investments. We cannot turn our back on the cooperation with the European Union. The development of our relations with Russia, the European Union and the rest of the world does not mean that we want to be friends with someone at the expense of or against someone else. We develop our trade, economic, political relations with the European Union, and tell our partners that we have no intention of being friends with them at the expense of or against Russia,” he said.

According to the minister, Belarus can survive only if having normal relations with all the global players both in the region and worldwide. "In our policy, we, as I have already said, do not pursue the principle of confrontation. On the contrary, we are doing our best to eliminate the dividing lines that are present in Europe and in our region today,” the minister said.

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