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“Partners” group defends its interests first time at Warsaw summit

October 02, 2011, 15:39 UTC+3

“To my mind, something more happened than Belarus’ success in defending its principles, its principled positions", - Belarussian Foreign Minister Martynov

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MINSK, October 2 (Itar-Tass) — Speaking live on national television, Belarussian Foreign Minister Sergei Martynov said that “something more than success of Belarus in defending its principles” took place at the Warsaw summit of “Eastern Partnership”.

“To my mind, something more happened than Belarus’ success in defending its principles, its principled positions. What happened is that the group of states, called ‘partners’, vis-·-vis European Union members, six states, understood that they have their own interests. In actual fact, this happened for the first time,” he said.

Martynov explained at the same time that these countries came out as a group, in actual fact, for the first time, defending their interests. We are sure that all have won by this,” the minister emphasised.

According to the minister, summiteers failed to make what “some would like to see: there was no denunciation of Belarus in summit documents”. “The summit declaration which was adopted after very difficult, tense and, maybe, excruciating talks, contains no paragraph that was planned in it, with a denunciation of our state,” Martynov noted.

Speaking of reasons for the situation which developed around the summit, the minister underlined that “this topic should not be addressed in a simplified way”. “Sure, the case was not only the protocol level of the Belarussian delegation. All this screens an entire complex of reasons, which is of systemic nature,” he continued.

The minister called attention to the fact that for instance relations with Russia are also one of reasons that “don’t simplify our relations with colleagues in the European Union”. “At the same time, one should clearly understand that Belarus clearly set bearings from the very start of forming “Eastern Partnership”.

“We don’t intend and will not make a choice between the European Union, on the one hand, and Russia, on the other,” Martynov went on to say.

The minister said that Minsk doesn’t think of giving up participation in “Eastern Partnership”. “Our position, connected with the non-participation in the summit, was dictated by principled reasons. We are against discrimination of Belarus no matter what forms it takes,” he said.

Turning to the programme of “Eastern Partnership”, Martynov noted that Minsk upbraids it seriously, above all, “for the absence of the serious and specific content in the form of project activities which would meet the interests of both Belarus and the entire region”. “But at the same time, this initiative, to our mind, has future if all treat it correctly.

“Of course future is not in the split of Europe into two parts. This part departs to the West, while the other one departs in the direction of the East,” the minister stressed.

He added at the same time that Belarussians should improve their economy, bringing its standards to European. “We see the value of “partnership” and shall continue to work in it. But it is principally important for us that partnership should be Partnership with the capital letter rather than a diktat for one country,” the minister stated.

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