Updated at 13:53,16-05-2022

EU should treat each Eastern Partnership country differently, Makey says

By Iryna Turchyna, BelaPAN

The European Union should have a “differentiated approach” to dealing with the countries involved in its Eastern Partnership program and look for “mutually acceptable formats of cooperation,” Belarusian Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makey told reporters in Minsk on Thursday after meeting with his Latvian counterpart, Edgars Rinkevics.

“Someone wants to be a member of the European Union in the future, someone sees himself as a member of the EU in the distant future, and someone simply wants to have proper economic and political relations with it,” he said.

Mr. Makey said that Belarus pursued a pragmatic foreign policy and viewed its participation in the Eastern Partnership program as an “instrument of the normalization of our relations with the European Union.” Mr. Makey said that many of the Eastern Partnership projects were consistent with Belarus’ economic development priorities. That is why Belarus would like to be involved in this program, especially in its business dimension, he said. At the same time, Belarus wants to develop relations with the EU on an equal footing, without discrimination against any participants, he said.

When asked whether Belarus was ready to fulfill the EU’s conditions regarding democratization and respect for human rights, Mr. Makey replied that Minsk had “no intention of fulfilling anyone’s requirements.” “We have the constitution, the legislation, we have international obligations that Belarus assumed within the framework of international organizations, and we will abide by these rules and laws,” he said.

Mr. Makey stressed that disagreements could only be resolved through a “respectful dialogue” and not a conflict.