New perspectives in relations between Belarus and EU

New perspectives in relations between Belarus and EU

European Commissioner for the European Neighborhood Policy Johannes Hahn visited Minsk. Belarus as a part of the European continent and European politics was the main topic of the meeting between the President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko and Johannes Hahn. The European Union is the second most important market for Belarus, and Belarus is an important geopolitical hub between East and West for the EU.

Lyudmila Luksha, head of the Dzerzhinsk secondary school No.4:
With the help of this device, solar energy can be converted into heat energy.

Two soldered tubes, inside is aluminum, tempered glass against snow, hail and rain is right on top. Between them is a vacuum space, two more plates and a copper rod with a liquid that boils already at a temperature of 34.5 °C. Perhaps, even the youngest student at this school can tell about the device of "solar" innovation.

There is a small copy on the table. The very same construction is located on the roof of the building.

Anastasia Ivannikova, CTV:
Here is one of the main results of modernization. Some 36 collectors are installed on the roof. That adds up to 1,080 tubes.

Each collector is 1.8 meters in height.

Energy-efficient modernization in this school was started in 2014. The roof and walls were winterized, the windows were replaced, energy-efficient lighting was installed, and the technological equipment of the kitchen unit was replaced.

The project became possible thanks to the support of the European Union and the Dzerzhinsky District Executive Committee. The main goals have been achieved. Now the school manages to save more than 2000 kWh of electricity and 36.5 Gcal of heat.

Anastasia Ivannikova:
How big is it for the republic?

Lyudmila Luksha:
Our partner institutions are the Vitebsk State Vocational and Technical Machine Building College named after M.F. Shmyrev and two kindergartens in the Grodno region.

Today, the EU actively promotes the so called green economy laws.

However, this is not the only point of contact with Belarus. In addition, relations are definitely on the rise: the EU abolished most of the sanctions during 2016-2017. As a result, both political and economic contacts have intensified. 

This is confirmed by the visit of the European Commissioner. Alexander Lukashenko and Johannes Hahn talked a lot about politics. Belarus reaffirmed its commitment to Europe.

Sergey Kizima, head of the department of International Relations of the Academy of Management under the aegis of the President of the Republic of Belarus:
We finally get access to the European Investment Bank. In particular, the project for a quarter of a billion dollars is being discussed. In 2018, Belarus will receive a powerful investment flow, which will provide significant assistance to large Belarusian enterprises, both public and private, in the development of modern innovative industries.

Meanwhile, Belarus and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) already have their significant project. In September 2016, a new strategy was approved with the support of the EU. Now several programs are being implemented jointly with the EU. For example, programs supporting small and medium-sized businesses.

During the years of the program’s existence, about 300 enterprises were involved in it. The bank also finances a program to support entrepreneurship among women and a program to reduce resource consumption and energy conservation. From now on, the EBRD has expanded its work with the public sector.

Alexander Pivovarsky, head of the representative office of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in the Republic of Belarus:
We expect the signing and approval of the project to complete the construction of the P80 ring road. Last year, we financed more than 160 million euros of new projects. What is very important is that we continue to deepen the consulting and other work financed by the European Union. The European Union is one of the most important partners and one of our main shareholders. 

Johannes Hahn has always been interested in visiting the capital of Belarus. Even before his flight to Minsk, he said: in recent years, the EU and Belarus have significantly expanded their cooperation: the development of regions, assistance in energy efficiency.

The European Commissioner told about his visit to Minsk to his subscribers in social networks (there are at least 50,000 of them).

By the way, this visit of the European guest brought good news: Belarus and the EU will come to signing agreements on the liberalization of the visa regime. And this will certainly give further impetus to the intensification of the dialogue.