Meeting with EEAS Deputy Secretary General Helga Maria Schmid

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Belarus hopes for the start of a good dialogue with the European Union, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Deputy Secretary General for the European External Action Service (EEAS) Helga Maria Schmid on 24 February.

“I hope that it is the beginning of a good dialogue with the European Union. We have been talking a lot about the relations between the EU and Belarus recently. I think that it is a good thing that we are making progress. At least, now the relations between Belarus and the European Union are less unclear than they were earlier,” the President said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that Belarus is ready to build relations with the EU on an equal and non-discriminatory basis.

The head of state pointed out Belarus’ important role and its contribution to the common security on the European continent. “In the light of the recent events in Europe you understand that Belarus is one of the countries that can play an important part in building up a safe Europe. All other matters lose their urgency once it comes to the issues of war and peace. In this respect the country which is geographically situated in the center of Europe cannot but have some weight and influence in such matters,” the President emphasized.

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, Belarus is ready to do its utmost to promote cooperation in the area from Lisbon to Vladivostok. “Our cooperation in the format “from Lisbon to Vladivostok” might not be a thing of the distant future. The idea seems very promising. As Belarus holds presidency in the Eurasian Economic Union, the country is ready to do its utmost to make the project a reality. I think that we can engage in a meaningful dialogue in order to promote this kind of relations,” the Belarusian President said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko gave his take on the cooperation within the framework of the Eastern Partnership Initiative where Belarus is a member. According to the head of state, Belarus joined the initiative hoping that this will help build a bridge between the East and West. “This is how it should be. The recent developments have shown that we should not create additional dividing lines. The Eastern Partnership Initiative is meant to unite countries, not bring them apart. We need to look for common ground within the framework of the EaP project and bring the partner states together. This will benefit the European Union, Europe in general and the entire planet,” the Belarusian leader believes.

Helga Maria Schmid agreed that the Eastern Partnership Initiative should not create new dividing lines in Europe. “It was meant to facilitate the development of the partner states and promote stability in the region.