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Belarus can count on Spain's support in rapprochement with EU, Ignacio Ibanez Rubio says

The Secretary of State of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has given an interview to the TV program Picture of the World.

Yuri Koziyatko, General Director of the Stolichnoe Televidenie company:
Can Belarus count on Spain's support in establishing closer and friendly relations between Belarus and the European Union?

Ignacio Ibanez Rubio, Secretary of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spain:
It is our common goal. We are approaching it making concerted efforts with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus and with the leadership of your country in particular. We want have the closest possible relations with all countries that surround us as part of the neighborhood policy pursued by the European Union. So here you can count on our support.

Yuri Koziyatko:
At the same time, you said in your speech that you would like to use Belarus as a bridge for Spanish relations with the Eurasian Economic Union. What did you mean? What interests do you primarily have? Economic relations or politics? Since you don't have very good relations with Russia, do you?

Ignacio Ibanez Rubio:
The relationships must always be considered holistically. There are no solely political or only economic components. Everything is interconnected. The fact that Belarus today opens its embassy in Madrid is a great sign for the establishment of political relations every day. We, in turn, pledged to open the Spanish Embassy in Belarus. We will work to strengthen the economic component of our relations.

Yuri Koziyatko:
Spain in December still presides over the UN Security Council. How do you assess the initiative of Belarus to establish security in our region? In particular, the so-called Minsk agreements.

Ignacio Ibanez Rubio:
We very much appreciated the efforts of Belarus to achieve the thing we all aspire to: Europe should have more dialogue and less confrontation. The situation in Ukraine has destabilized Europe as a whole. Therefore, the efforts of Belarus are an example for the whole of the European Union, for all of us.

Yuri Koziyatko:
When can Belarus expect a reciprocal step from Spain - the opening of the Spanish embassy in our country?

Ignacio Ibanez Rubio:
As a diplomat I can say that I am ready for the opening of the Spanish Embassy in Belarus even tomorrow. But, like all countries, we are dependent on many factors, and therefore still need appropriate financial conditions and resources. But I hope that the Spanish embassy in Belarus will open very soon.

Yuri Koziyatko:
What associations do you have when you say Belarus? What first comes to mind?

Ignacio Ibanez Rubio:
Spain has very positive impressions about Belarus. I believe relations between our countries are strengthening day by day in different areas: today we had an opportunity to listen to the excellent presentation of your national choir and saw a unique exhibition of icons in Toledo. This is amazing. So Belarus arouses the most positive emotions in me.
I hope that the image of Spain in Belarus is equally positive. I am confident that we will continue to work on expanding the bilateral relations. The opening of embassies – today the Belarusian embassy in Spain, and in the near future the embassy of Spain in Belarus - will only help our friendship.

Belarus can count on Spain's support in rapprochement with EU, Ignacio Ibanez Rubio says