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13 May 2019, 11:42

Lukashenko hails Germany's contribution to normalizing Belarus-EU relations

MINSK, 13 May (BelTA) – Germany and its ambassador have made a significant contribution to normalizing relations between Belarus and the European Union, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Germany to Belarus Peter Dettmar on 13 May, BelTA has learned.

“Significant changes have happened in Belarus' relations with Germany over the period of your diplomatic mission. It is reflected in the trade turnover. Our trade has increased by almost one third over this period. This is a rather serious growth. However, apart from Belarus' relations with Germany and an increase in trade, the relations with the European Union have become warmer in general. Germany is a leading country in the European Union, and you represented Germany in Belarus. Therefore, we appreciate the contribution of Germany and your personal contribution to normalizing Belarus' relations with the European Union,” the Belarusian leader said.

“However, certain issues always exist regardless of the degree of positivity in the development of relations. Just look at our very advanced, friendly, brotherly relations with Russia. We need to solve a lot of issues. And we also need to handle many issues in our relations with Germany, and especially with the European Union. I would like to listen to your sincere opinion on the matter,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The president also remarked that he had been keeping an eye on the mission of the German ambassador to Belarus, and not only because this country is one of the biggest economies in the world. “I have also been doing it because the ambassador is a very interesting person, and you have a very positive attitude to Belarus. Being an ambassador, you have a certain course, certain principles, and such a civilized and smart person like you will never give up on them. You represented your country, the policy of this country in Belarus. I understand perfectly well what it means to be an ambassador,” the head of state said. “Judging by the criteria that are used to evaluate the activities of ambassadors, you are a very good person.”

Peter Dettmar, in turn, thanked for the farewell meeting. “First of all, I would like to thank you for the trust that you've been showing throughout my tenure, almost four years in Belarus. And I agree that the relations between our countries have been increasingly vibrant during these four years,” he said.

Germany is one of Belarus' key foreign trade partners (with the fifth largest trade turnover in 2018). The bilateral trade reached $3.3 billion in 2018 (up 16% as against 2017), export made up $1.5 billion (up 30.2%), import totaled $1.8 billion (up 6.9%).

The export of services to Germany (with transport and computer services dominating the field) reached $417.1 million last year. In 2018, German investments soared 2.5 times to $363.7 million as again the year 2017.

There are more than 300 enterprises with German capital in Belarus. Ninety representative offices of concern companies have been registered. German companies also produce composite materials at the industrial park Great Stone. Plans have been made to organize the manufacture of medical products. In 2018, a logistics operator of Europe's largest inland port Duisport became one of the shareholders of SZAO Industrial Park Development Company.

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