Belarus is interested in developing relations with the European Union, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said as he met with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Germany to Belarus Peter Dettmar on 11 December.
The head of state remarked that he traditionally meets with foreign ambassadors in order to realize the prospects of developing relations with crucial partners.
“Germany is such a partner for us. I do not want to conceal anything although I can be criticized by known forces and scribblers once again. Germany is an interesting country for us because Germans, first of all, understand us. Secondly, this is a high-tech, strong country, and we are interested in investments and technologies. We also have other interests, and I am going to discuss them with you today,” Alexander Lukashenko said.
The president encouraged the ambassador to have a sincere and open conversation and to forget about diplomatic formalities for a while. “Please tell me what Germany wants from Belarus. What does Germany dislike in Belarus?” the head of state wondered. “And I will tell you openly what Belarus wants to get from Germany and from the European Union. Germany is a leading country, a stronghold of the European Union, if you want, its main guardian. The European Union would not exist without Germany, it is our neighbor. Our major principle is to maintain normal relations with neighbors.”
Alexander Lukashenko added that Belarus can meet Germany halfway on certain questions, but not on all of them. “I just want to say that Germany (and Germans understand it) should not compel us to make a choice. And Americans understood it. I have recently talked to the U.S. assistant secretary of state and he told me that they do not want to compel Belarus to choose between the East and the West. We are who we are. It has been determined by God, and they should not push us from side to side. In keeping with our national interests and the interests of our neighbors we will build our peace-loving policy. We will never become a hotbed of tension in Europe,” the president said.
“We do not need any more wars. Maybe that is why Germany is always trying to settle conflicts by peaceful peaces in different places. We want this too. Therefore, we will never pose problems for the European Union, including Germany. And we want the same form Germany. We want Germany to understand us, to make certain steps to meet us,” the Belarusian leader emphasized.
The head of state mentioned a few problems in trade relations between the countries. “You have built a ‘fence’ and do not let anyone even approach it. This invisible economic fence is even worse than Trump’s border wall with Mexico. We would like to finally break this fence. If the European Union is so committed to the market economy, why is it trying to fence in?”
Peter Dettmar, in turn, remarked that he had already spent eight years in Belarus as a diplomat. The year 2018 has become the most productive and important year in the political and economic relations of Belarus and Germany.