Belarus and EU have mutual interest in dialogue, Alexander Lukashenko says

Other News Materials 6 February 2009 13:09 (UTC +04:00)

Belarus and the European Union have a mutual interest in developing the dialogue that encourages a normal relationship, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said in an interview to the Euronews TV Channel, one of the European leading mass media outlets, BelTA learnt from the presidential press service.

Alexander Lukashenko stressed that the relations between Belarus and the European Union has recently thawed. "If talking about our relations that have improved, frankly speaking, there are positive moments in them. We highly appreciate it. We consider it a starting point from where we can develop our relations. Our interest in our relationship with the European Union is beyond doubt," the President underscored.

Speaking about the European initiative of the Eastern partnership, Alexander Lukashenko said that Belarus welcomes this Europe's positive step towards their neighbours. "It's a very pragmatic and sensible step, and a timely one on the part of the European Union," the Head of State stressed.

As for the participation in the Prague Summit within the Eastern Partnership, Alexander Lukashenko believes it is not very important at what level the country would be presented. "It does not really matter who goes to Prague. We will obviously have somebody in Prague, we'll discuss the problems of the Eastern Partnership," the Head of State said.

According to him, Belarus and Europe are closely linked in terms of trade and economic relations. Trade with the European Union last year amounted to $22 billion. "The figure speaks for itself. In it our pragmatic interest is," noted Alexander Lukashenko.

At the same time in today's world system of challenges, many of Europe's challenges cannot be handled without Belarus - starting from drug trafficking and illegal migration, to the transit of energy, which is closely linked to Belarus. According to the President, Europe is extremely interested in that.

"There is a mutual interest that encourages us to develop normal relations. Can we, living in the 21st century, seat and simply watch each other over a fence? We are praising everything that today happens in our relations," the Belarusian leader concluded.