The integration of eastern neighbours of the European Union, namely Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova and Transcaucasian countries, into the European political sphere is the key to building up the European security, said Deividas Matulionis, State Secretary of the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry, during the XI Minsk forum on November 14.
"It is the only recipe for preventing such crisis situations as the recent conflict in Caucasusia," believes the diplomat, reported Belta.
In his views, Lithuania and Belarus have many things in common ranging from the common history to mutual economic interests. "The Belarusians are a creative and hardworking nation, which should be an inalienable part of the common European family," he said.
Deividas Matulionis remarked, the backbone of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) is based on three key things: the European perspective of the state policy of European Union member-states, free trade and freedom of movement of individuals. He added, after October 13, the day when the European Union suspended sanctions against Belarusian officials, with satisfaction Western politicians note upon the opening of a new frontier in Belarus-EU relations and expect Belarusian authorities to make other promised steps towards Western colleagues. "Nobody needs iron curtains. Political service clubs are extremely harmful for the overall development," said the Lithuanian diplomat.
According to Deividas Matulionis, Lithuania continues to stay dedicated to facilitating visa regulations of European countries for Belarus. A Belarusian-Lithuanian intergovernmental agreement on transboundary cooperation has been prepared. It is supposed to give a positive boost to Belarus' integration into Europe. The State Secretary of the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry said he wishes Belarus to rapidly develop economic liberalisation as free trade is profitable for all the parties. Apart from that, Deividas Matulionis mentioned cooperation in the energy industry as an important component of the Belarusian-European cooperation. In his words, the West should encourage holding joint consultations involving Belarus as well as roundtables on energy security, transit and nuclear power engineering issues.
Deividas Matulionis reminded, starting next year Lithuania will preside in the Council of the Baltic Sea States. In view of the fact the official Vilnius would like Belarus to acquire observer status in the organisation before the end of the presidency.