Meeting with Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs Didier Reynders

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Belarus will always be working towards unity and stability in Europe, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs Didier Reynders on 15 March.

“Your visit is a landmark event. A lot depends on it, not only in our bilateral relations but also in our relations with your empire [the European Union]. I can guarantee that Belarus will always be working towards unity and stability in Europe. Even in the difficult times we did not create problems for you and will not create them in the future,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The head of state stressed that he is in favor of the multi-polar world and the preservation of the European Union. “The EU is a major center of power alongside with China, the United States of America. The European Union is a solid pillar for the planet; if it disappears, the world will be in trouble. Therefore, I do not appreciate/support all these Brexits and nationalist movements. It is essential to preserve the European Union whatever the cost. This is not my personal position (although it is personal too). This position relies on the international state interests. The more pillars we have, the more stable the system is. Therefore, I am the supporter of the European Union,” the President explained.

At the same time, Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that he is against double standards which the EU sometimes applies. “Therefore, I would like the European Union to be consistent with the declarations it offers to the whole world, namely honesty, integrity, and democracy,” the Belarusian leader said. “If you take a closer look at Belarus, you will see human rights, democracy, order, and security for people here. We have drawbacks, just like you. But we need dialogue, to be closer to each other. You need to share your experience. We are prepared to learn. But please remember that sovereignty and independence are sacred things for us.”

The head of state noted that Belarus has established mutually beneficial cooperation with a number of Belgian companies, and this is not the limit. “With the trade over $300 million, the investment is not very high. I cannot say that we have a lack of investment. However, we would like to see Belgian investment in addition to that from China, Russia and other countries. We would like to diversify our investment activity. If you have such a desire, we will support this in every possible way. We would be happy if the Belgian government supported its investors, or at least kept us advised on which investors we could work with. The most important thing for us is to find good and reliable investors. Bearing this in mind, we are ready to work with you,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The Belarusian leader added that he has mixed feelings regarding the visit of Didier Reynders to Belarus. “It is a pity that this is your first visit to Belarus, Minsk. Still, it is good that you have finally decided to come. We would like to welcome such high-level officials more often in Belarus so that you could see with your own eyes how the country has been developing,” the head of state said.

Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs said that his country is ready to step up cooperation with Belarus in various areas. “Belgium is keeping an interested eye on all the economic reforms that are taking place in Belarus, including those that are to be introduced in the country,” he said.