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Sergei Lavrov about Belarus participating in Eastern Partnership summit

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation has given a big interview to the program “Picture of the World”. In his interview to Yuri Koziyatko, Sergei Lavrov commented on the provocative behavior of the USA, the missile-nuclear actions of Pyongyang and the situation concerning the 218 Olympic Games in South Korea.

Yuri Koziyatko:
Based upon the reaction to the last Belarusian-Russian military drills, the West feels worried about such close cooperation of Belarus and Russia in the military sector. Is Russia somehow feeling worried about Belarus participating in the Eastern Partnership?

Sergei Lavrov:
First of I’ll say about the military drills, the West is not worried so much as it tried using the military drills as a trigger for whipping up hysteria once again. Because both Belarus and Russia timely informed the countries participating in the Vienna Document on Confidence and Security-Building Measures (this document was adopted through the OSCE). In due order, all the notifications were forwarded, all the observers were invited. What is more, even the invitations went beyond the requisites. And all those who wanted to be at the drills, they came. Those who attended the exercises confirmed that everything was transparent.

Nevertheless, on the sly, when this hysteria was being whipped, our American colleagues together with NATO representatives managed to deploy military forces and additional military equipment on the territories of the Baltic States and Poland. In other words, the matter was used, the fears did not pan out, nevertheless, as they say, “the issue has already been closed”.

As for the Eastern Partnership, we never teach anyone life. We ourselves have a partnership agreement with the EU, which unfortunately has been frozen and not by Russia’s fault. And we have never had concerns about all our neighbors and all our friends wanting to have good relations with all their partners in the West and the East, in the North and the South.

And yes, Russia sees the wish of certain countries in the EU to use the Eastern Partnership in anti-Russian aims. It is not the majority of such countries; nevertheless, they tend to behave aggressively. It also came through the speech of the British Prime Minister Theresa May at the Eastern Partnership Summit, which was held in Brussels several days ago. However, the majority of EU countries understand that it will be another attempt with improper means, and to imbed anti-Russian fuse into any contacts with CIS states is counterproductively and pointless. And Russia has highly estimated the firm position of Belarus together with other participants of the Eastern Partnership against such attempts. And The fact that the final declaration, despite the wish of certain participants of the summit, doesn’t contain external issues, not concerning relations of focus states with the EU directly, we see a big, big role of Belarus as well. Belarus did not allow to make this process politicized, ideology-driven, and Belarus sees its own vital interests in this process- t develop normal relations with western Europeans. Therefore, it seems to me, here we have no differences seen.

Yuri Koziyatko:
Are there any wormholes here?

Sergei Lavrov:
As for Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia has no doubts and suspicions. Of course, we see how our Ukrainian colleagues are behaving, Moldavian and Georgian colleagues as well. I will repeat once again: the re not able to and I am sure they won’t be able to move the whole scheme of the Eastern Partnership to an anti-Russian direction.
 

Sergei Lavrov about Belarus participating in Eastern Partnership summit