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MINSK, April 2 (Itar-Tass) — Belarus is not the initiator of strained relations with the European Union, lower house speaker Vladimir Andreichenko said on Monday.
“The recent decisions of the EU Council and the European Parliament clearly demonstrate who initiated an aggravation of relations,” the speaker said at the opening of the spring session of the Belarussian parliament.
“An expansion of sanctions, including measures of economic restriction, is at variance with the logic of partnership relations and will have a negative effect both for our regions and the European Union,” the parliamentarian stressed. According to the speaker, such moves contradict basic interests of EU citizens and countries, are inadmissible from the point of view of principles of international relations and postpone the possibility to normalize a dialogue between Belarus and the EU.
According to Andreichenko, certain European agencies are not always objective in assessing the developments in Belarus. “The position of Belarussian parliamentarians remains invariable. We are ready for a constructive dialogue with international parliamentary organizations and parliaments of foreign states, but only on the basis of mutual respect,” he stressed.
The speaker noted that many politicians and business executives in European countries share that point of view, and he himself had received evidence of that when “taking part in a winter session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly”.
Andreichenko said that the work of parliamentarians within the framework of inter-parliamentary agencies of the Union State, EurAsEC, CSTO and CIS was an example of constructive cooperation.
“However, we must emphasize that cooperation with our partners within the framework of integration associations has been unconditional priority of our international program,” he stressed.
He also emphasized that the countries participants in the Customs Union have achieved a new level of integration (Common Economic Space) starting from January. Economic advantages of integration efforts are particularly visible within the framework of the “trio” (Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan).
“Steps taken to ensure citizens’ rights in the Union State, economic rapprochement within the framework of the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space, visible moves within the CIS format convincingly testify to the fact that there is no alternative to integration,” Andreichenko believes.