Meeting with OSCE PA Special Representative for Eastern Europe Kent Harstedt

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Belarus will remain a pillar of support in the center of Europe for the OSCE, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Kent Harstedt, OSCE PA Special Representative for Eastern Europe, on 23 January.

“As for the European and regional security, you know our attitude to many issues and trends in Europe. You know our attitude to security matters, such issues as war and peace,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “We will adhere to this position in the future. And believe me, Belarus will be a good pillar of support in the center of Europe for the OSCE. We will do our best to ensure peace and order in our common European home.”

According to the president, it is essential to take measures as soon as possible to eliminate negative trends characterizing tension in Europe. “We have proposed to discuss as an option, to launch certain Helsinki 2 so that the leading countries in the world could sit down at the negotiating table and discuss further actions to reduce tension on the European continent,” the Belarusian leader remarked.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said that the wording 'Helsinki 2' is not mandatory, and a new negotiation process can be called differently. However, he believes that Helsinki 2 would be an understandable continuation of the previous process.

“I want to assure you once again that we will have very good relations with the organization. We are ready to discuss any problems and issues. You definitely can ask the most incontinent, in your opinion, questions to us, to me, to our authorities, certain people, ministers with whom you want to discuss these issues. We will discuss and respond to them,” the head of state said.

“There is one condition: Belarus is a sovereign and independent country, just like Sweden, you home country, and we cannot agree and will not tolerate being pushed in the back, lorded over or moralized,” the Belarusian leader said.

Meanwhile, he stressed that Belarus is ready to learn from other countries. “But just like any other country, we have a negative attitude to moralizing,” the president added.

Aleksandr Lukashenko also thanked Kent Harstedt for understanding he demonstrates in relation to Belarus.