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European Parliament member: We are now more positive towards Belarus

From Munich, where the annual security conference is being held, news is now coming about efforts to work out common views on the current crises. Nearly five hundred politicians, diplomats and military from all over the world are forming a kind of list of the main risks of 2016. 

The hottest topics are the Islamic state, Syria, Ukraine, the possible collapse of the transatlantic partnership and Europe's closure of its borders.

Oliver Joachim Rolofs, organizer of the International Conference on Security Policy in Munich:
This year, we set a record - about 600 participants from around the world, a growing number of global crises, and as a logical consequence is the number of participants. We are pleased to note that Belarus is also represented. This is a step towards convergence, the opportunity to discuss further development of relations, and economic cooperation.

VIPs are careful in comments. Only Kofi Annan shows on camera a peaceful gesture, while Ukraine's president Poroshenko thanked Belarus for the first steps in peace, made in Minsk.   

Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine President:
I would like to congratulate Minsk on the fact that as a result of agreements with President Lukashenko, it became a place of the important international events.

The topic of Ukraine is still in the top discussed. The first day of the conference lasted until midnight. Symbolically, the conference kicked off in Munich just on the anniversary of the signing of the Minsk agreements on Ukraine. 

Wladimir Klitschko, the mayor of Kiev (Ukraine):
I am sure that the role of Belarus is very important and Belarus is interested to see Ukraine as a stable country, both politically and economically. Since the destabilization of the situation in Ukraine could destabilize the entire region. And in this respect, Belarus puts in a lot of effort, so that the situation is stable.

Even US Senator John McCain, who is skeptical about agreement on Syria, praised the peacekeeping role of Minsk.

John McCain, the US senator:
It is commendable that the Belarusian authorities have assisted in resolving the Ukrainian conflict.

Elmar Brok, MEP:
The Minsk agreement is the basis for the present-day dialogue between the parties. To host such negotiations was very useful for Belarus. Now we apply a more positive assessment towards Belarus. And I think there has been progress in the relations.

Kurt Lauk, professor, president of a company (Germany):
Belarus should remain integrated into the resolution of the Ukrainian question, because your country has played an important role in resolving this crisis.

Meanwhile, the migrant crisis in Europe is developing with renewed power. And it has become almost the main topic of discussion. The flood of refugees is compared with the Great Migration. This "avalanche" of migrants brings with it not only an economic and geopolitical aspect, but also criminal issues. In such a tense atmosphere many tend to perceive Belarus as a kind of "donor of stability."  

Rainer Lindner, Chairman of the Belarusian-German Society (Germany):
Belarus has been instrumental in the recent years; it is in this region where security had more space. I hope that the policy of the European Partnership of the EU with Belarus has new progress.

The meeting of Belarus' Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei with his German counterpart Steinmeier has already become the second in recent times. The foreign ministers discussed a wide range of issues, paying particular attention to cooperation in the OSCE. Germany is the OSCE chairman in 2016.

The geography of meetings of the Belarusian delegation at the Munich Conference is extensive. The Belarus foreign minister spoke to colleagues Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Ghana, Georgia, Iran, representatives of the US State Department and the European Commission.

Vladimir Makei, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus:
Their assessment of Belarus is also different this year, it has changed for the better. It seems this is due to the fact that many people understand better the motives of Belarus, its foreign and domestic political decisions.

The Munich conference is called the weather barometer between the countries. As for Belarus and the European Union, relations between them have warmed considerably in recent months.

German TV correspondent:
I believe the European Union sees Belarus as an important player in the Eastern European region. It is no coincidence that the Normandy 4 talks took place in Minsk. And it is a very good sign that the Belarusian and German foreign ministers sat down at the negotiating table here again. 

Vladimir Makei, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus