Meeting with Speaker of Slovakia’s National Council Andrej Danko
Political and diplomatic relations between Belarus and Slovakia are increasingly vibrant. However, the potential of the two countries is not used in full, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Speaker of the National Council of Slovakia Andrej Danko on 4 June.
“We have a decent yearly trade turnover, of approximately $220 million,” the president said. “Politics played a very important role in raising trade and economic cooperation to this level [of political and diplomatic interaction]. It is good, but our potential is much higher. I think it would be logical and normal if our trade exceeded $1 billion.”
“Political and diplomatic relations [of Belarus and Slovakia] are increasingly vibrant. I often observe the fact that two countries have advanced political relations and are lagging behind in trade and economy. I can not say that about the relations with Slovakia,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
He mentioned the assistance of the Slovakian parliament, without which it would be difficult to reach certain results in the bilateral relations. “I would like to thank your parliament for the huge role it is playing in the enhancement of cooperation between our countries,” the president said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko believes that the countries will make even bigger progress in bilateral cooperation across the board thanks to the assistance of the Slovakian parliament and its speaker. “We will count on you, on your input because you know a lot about Belarus. I can even say that you feel our country. We are learning a lot from you. We learn not only to play ice hockey, we also study your experience in the economy,” the head of state added.
The president thanked Slovakia for the role this country is playing in the normalization of Belarus’ relations with the European Union. “Probably, it was a big and significant role so that Europeans had to turn their faces toward Belarus and look at the processes that are going on here. It was useful for us and for the European Union,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.
The head of state pointed out the historical unity of Belarusian and Slovakian people. “We have the same Slavonic roots. Slovakia is a member of the European Union, Belarus is a member of a different economic union. However, we still manage to build warm, kind and friendly relations. I hope that we will continue doing it in the future,” the Belarusian leader said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko praised Slovakia’s role in the historical development of Europe, what is especially important when the 75th anniversary of Belarus’ liberation from the Nazi invasion and the 75th anniversary of the Slovak National Uprising are marked. “This is a significant page in the anti-fascist movement in Europe, and the Slovakian nation can be proud of it,” the president is convinced.
Andrej Danko, in turn, thanked the president for the opportunity to meet at such a high level. He also praised the fact that the Belarusian state is doing a lot for the development of sport. “I am not only the speaker of the Slovakian parliament, I am also the chairman of the oldest traditional political party in the country. I supervise the operation of the ministries of defense, agriculture and education, I am in charge of sport and tourism. I am impressed by the level support that is provided to sport in your country,” the speaker of the National Council said and added that the chairman of the Olympic Committee of Slovakia has the same stance. He will visit Belarus as part of the Slovakian delegation for the 2nd European Games.