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European Integrative Week: distinguished guests visit Belarus

Last week in Belarus can be given the name of the Great European Week. Distinguished guests from different countries came to the center of Europe. Belgium Foreign Minister, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE, First Vice President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Chief of the IMF Mission, and delegations of the Visegrad Group and of the Eastern Partnership, Minister of State for Europe at the Federal Foreign Office of Germany, parliamentary delegation from Kazakhstan, and Egypt State Minister. Nevertheless, there was important news. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to Austria Alena Kupchyna was nominated for the position of the Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Belarus is the center of Europe, but Europe was in Belarus this week.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said that it was good that these delegations and representatives came to Belarus, but it is bad that they didn’t do it before. Belarus’ and Belgium’s populations are nearly the same. Belarus is the center of Europe and Belgium is the political center of the EU.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of the Republic of Belarus:
I cannot say that we suffer from the lack of investments, not at all. But Belarus would also like to see Belgian investments alongside with Chinese, Russian and other republics’ inputs. Belarus wants to diversify its investing activities.

Didier Reynders, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs of the Kingdom of Belgium:
Thank you for welcoming us so warmly. It’s notable that spring is on its way.

Development of relations is possible only on open grounds. Alexander Lukashenko visited Belgium, the center of euro integration, in 1995 for the first time.

Alexander Lukashenko:
In many ways the priority which mustn’t get lost in agriculture is the big marketable agricultural production. It was a Belgian farmer who brought this idea to my mind. Some 20 years on I assured myself, that he was a great man, he was right.

And today Belgian businessmen gladly invest Belarusian land. There is even a special agency in Brussels for these issues.

Didier Reynders, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs of the Kingdom of Belgium:
I have experience in communicating with Belarusians in finance and bank spheres. I would like to confirm the interest of Belgian companies in cooperating with Belarus.

European capitals do not listen to myths about closed and dependent policy of Belarus, but see Minsk a foreseeable and an equal partner. And President Lukashenko is treated as a guarantor of stability and an experienced international mediator. The wall of misunderstandings has collapsed; the base for new relations is being built on an economical block of agreements.

Michael Roth, Minister of State for Europe at the Federal Foreign Office of Germany:
Germany is interested in in rapprochement with the EU on the one hand, and with Belarus on the other.

Considering the relations warm up with international business, Belarus is expecting to receive another loan tranche from the IMF in 2017.

Alexander Lukashenko:
I suppose that all the issues that will be negotiated on are informatively useful for Belarus. And useful for the future as well, so that everyone knows about the situation taking place in Belarus.

European financial institutions are ready to lend a helping hand to Belarus.

Philip Bennett, First Vice President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development:
We will continue our cooperation with Belarus, just as we have been doing it for the last years. The Bank will primarily support the private sector. We are also planning to build up our investment presence in transport sector, and in the housing and public utilities.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development took all restrictions off from the investing sector of Belarus in 2016 and is prepared to strengthen its positions in Belarus.

Alexander Lukashenko:
Belarus has been cooperating with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for 20 years now. During this period about $2 bln were invested into Belarus’ economy. These investments were made into the most perspective and projects, which are now successful.

Belarus and Stavropol Krai are open to dialogue on innovative technologies, production of Swiss electric trains, and cooperative ties in industry and construction. The governor of this Russian region met with Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko.

Vladimir Vladimirov, Governor of Stavropol Krai, Russian Federation:
I brought you a variety of cereals to show. This variety is called “Tatiana”, it’s the best one. It was a success in Russia.

Nevertheless, it’s evident that it is not bread that unites Belarus and Russia.

Vladimir Vladimirov, Governor of Stavropol Krai, Russian Federation:
The Russian veterans asked me to hand the Victory Banner o you personally, Mr. Lukashenko. No matter what Moscow says about Minsk, the preferences of Russian regions to Belarusians have stayed unchanged.

Stavrapol Krai is the gate to the Caucasus. It gives a possibility for Belarusian technology, specialists and service centers to develop. Belarus has many national brands.

Of course, Christine Muttonen, president of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, didn’t just come to try ou the new chocolates “President”. She has a political mission of her own.

Christine Muttonen, president of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, member of the National Council of Austria:
I am sure that everything necessary has or is being done. I don’t have any doubts that the session will be a success.

It’s Christine Muttonen’s third visit to Belarus. However, it is her first visit at such a high level. Minsk will host the 26th annual OSCE Parliamentary Assembly session in July, 2016, which is one of the key events for the organization.

Alexander Lukashenko:
The preconceptions the West has are unthoughtful. The fact that Belarus is a European country, and the level of human rights, law supremacy, and democracy is not like in other European states.

Another important news of the week was that Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to Austria Alena Kupchyna is among the five nominees for the position of the Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Kazakh parliamentarians have coordinated the ways of cooperation with Belarus a long time ago.

Nurlan Nigmatulin, Chairman of Majilis Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan:
There are no unsolved questions, both in the intergovernmental dialogue between Belarus and Kazakhstan, and in the integrational intergovernmental arenas.

Astana will host the International Exposition “Expo 2017”. Belarus was one of the first countries which confirmed its participation in the event.

The search of new markets in Egypt resulted in success for Belarus. After Alexander Lukashenko’s visit to Cairo in January 2017, Belarus is now full with Egyptian delegations.

Alexander Lukashenko:
Belarus is prepared to create corresponding plants in Egypt, beforehand or with handing technologies over; to develop these plants together with Egypt, localizing these plants there, and in such a way Egypt will receive necessary services for people’s good living.

Belarus itself is at the interface of three continents. The European Partnership for Belarus is a way of rapprochement for geographical Europe with integrational Europe. Belarus Serves as an active arena for uniting processes of Central and Eastern Europe. That’s why representatives of the Visegrad Four are at the negotiating table.

Vladimir Makei, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus:
Belarus’ geographical position has both pluses and minuses. Every member of the European Partnership or of the Visegrad Four is in a certain surrounding, situation. It is evidently seen in Belarus.

By the way a union from Lisbon to Vladivostok through Minsk has already been established. However, the union is based on 30 creators from 30 countries. This art ground was created by the Belarusian Embassy for Russia. Belarusians showed Moscow that the picture of Eurasian world can only be drawn in bright colors.
 

European Integrative Week: distinguished guests visit Belarus