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12 December 2017, 12:00

PM: Belarus views CEI membership as additional opportunity to improve understanding with EU

MINSK, 12 December (BelTA) - Belarus views the membership in the Central European Initiative as an additional opportunity to improve understanding with the European Union, Belarus Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov said at the CEI Heads of Government meeting in Minsk, BelTA has learned.

“The 2017 results enable us to see the CEI format as a serious tool to ensure a fuller and more effective involvement of the country into the global European development. For us the participation in the Central European Initiative is an additional opportunity to improve communication with the EU through specific programs and projects, including in the area of regional development which the CEI implements together with the EU,” Andrei Kobyakov noted.

For Belarus the CEI is also an effective way to intensify the interaction with other member states on a bilateral basis.

“This applies both to our traditional partners and also to the countries with whom we previously did not have robust relations,” the prime minister noted.

Within the framework of the Belarusian CEI presidency, particular emphasis was placed on the fact that the organization unites the states that participate in “various integration associations and formats.” Belarus has traditionally been at the forefront of the integration processes in the post-Soviet space, being a founding member of the CIS and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). Today the EAEU and the EU are immediate neighbors and need to search for common ground. I am convinced that it is the harmonious and complementary development of the two big unions that is a guarantee of stability and prosperity in Europe,” Andrei Kobyakov said.

The CEI Presidency passes from Belarus to Croatia. “We are proud of the fact that during the Belarusian presidency, thanks to our joint action the CEI has maintained and enhanced its non-conflict and non-discriminatory profile, the focus on constructive work and specific results of the cooperation,” the Belarusian head of government noted.

Andrei Kobyakov voiced confidence that today's meeting as well as other activities of the CEI in 2017 will be meaningful, constructive and productive. “After all, our common goal is to make the Central European Initiative an even more powerful tool for promoting sustainable development and prosperity of our countries and peoples. We hope that many themed events held this year under the auspices of the CEI will transform into concrete agreements in the political, economic and other fields and give tangible results for citizens of our states. This is the meaning of our work,” he concluded.

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