Meeting with European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources Gunther Oettinger
Issues in the relations between Belarus and the European Union are not chronic and can be resolved, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources Gunther Oettinger on 18 February.
“I am very glad to have this opportunity to meet with you today to discuss possible issues in our relations. However, the word ‘possible’ does not probably fit here. We have always had these issues and will probably have them in the future. However, we have seen in recent times that all the issues are not chronic and can be settled,” Aleksandr Lukashenko underlined.
The head of state noted that the parties had recently made considerable progress in promoting their relations, including cooperation in trade and economy. “You know our goal - we are set to diversify our foreign trade. We would like our trade with the European Union to account for some 30-35% of our total trade (with Russia and the rest of the world accounting for 30% each). The diversification will make us feel more comfortable in the manufacturing industry and trade in goods, because our country is export-oriented, as you know,” the President added.
Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that Belarus consumes only half of the domestic output, with the rest being sold abroad. “This means that foreign trade plays an important role, in particular in the budgeting process and the inflow of currency,” the head of state said.
“If you have any questions, if there are any concerns in the European Union regarding Belarus, I am ready to embark on a frank discussion and to answer all these questions and respond to these concerns, and if needed, take corresponding decisions,” the President noted.