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Belarus not planning to exit Russian market — top diplomat

June 05, 15:37 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Belarus plans to build close economic relations with the European Union, according to the country's top diplomat

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A food shop of Belorussky Fermer (Belarussian Farmer) retail chain in Moscow

A food shop of Belorussky Fermer (Belarussian Farmer) retail chain in Moscow

© Zurab Javakhadze/TASS

MOSCOW, June 5. /TASS/. Minsk has no intention of quitting the Russian market, but at the same time it plans to build close economic relations with the European Union, Belarussian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makey said at a joint board meeting of the Russian and Belarussian foreign ministries on Monday.

"We always tell not only our Russian friends, but the European partners, too, that Minsk has no intention of drifting away from Russia," he said. "Our economies and contacts are tight. And there is no way of getting away from cooperation with each other. There is a clear understanding that we have no intention of severing our political, economic and military relations with our Russian friends," Makey said.

"At the same time we are aware that in the context of world financial problems we should have a safety net to avoid the effects of global upheavals," he said. "We wish to not only retain our presence on the Russian market, but to build it up. At the same time we hope to have closer contacts with the European Union, which is our second most important economic partner after Russia.

"I can see no contradictions here. We are firm in our intention to retain our customary markets in various ways, including the conclusion of free trade zone agreements between the Eurasian Economic Union and other countries," he said. "Through these agreements Belarus will be able to access markets that are important for the supplies of our equipment and growth of mutual trade."

"Nobody in Belarus has any intention to break away from Russia. It is with neighboring countries that we can have the largest volumes of trade, which will certainly benefit our peoples and our states,".

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