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Belarus FM: Eastern Partnership split can ruin whole initiative

June 05, 2015, 8:39 UTC+3 MINSK
Ukraine’s Ambassador to EU Konstantin Yeliseyev said it was necessary to separate Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova from the three other participants in the program - Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus
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© EPA/VALDA KALNINA

MINSK, June 4 /TASS/. A policy of fragmentation may ruin the European Union’s Eastern Partnership project, Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei told TASS on Thursday.

His remarks came in response to a statement by Ukraine’s Ambassador to EU Konstantin Yeliseyev that it was necessary to separate Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova from the three other participants in the Eastern Partnership programme - Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus.

"These assertions are absolutely stupid. If they want to kill the initiative in its root, then they can divide countries into two or three groups. But then this initiative will cease to exist," Makei said commenting on Yeliseyev’s initiative made late in May.

The Belarusian foreign minister considers the Eastern Partnership idea to be necessary and useful. "We should have a clear idea of our future and build a strategy as part of this initiative. We should understand that our participation in this initiative and the activities of separate states should bring stability and security to our region rather than increase confrontation," Makei said. The minister emphasized that anybody who wanted to build their participation within the framework of this initiative on a different foundation, then this initiative would cease to exist.

The Belarusian diplomat does not think that the Eastern Partnership summit held in Riga late in May was targeted against Russia. "I would not call it anti-Russian. Perhaps, someone suggested holding it in the anti-Russian spirit but what was said by the leaders of many countries prove the opposite. On the contrary, they called for a dialogue with Russia and said that they could not be excluded from the dialogue," Makei said.

"If we want to have a stable and safe Europe, everybody is simply obliged to talk to Russia, including those who have imposed sanctions on it," the Russian diplomat said.

He explained that Belarus had initially pursued normal and clear human goals when it agreed to join the Eastern Partnership project. "We want to have normal relations with the European Union and we are trying to build these relations within the Eastern Partnership initiative. At the same time, we do not want our participation /in Eastern Partnership/ to quarrel us with Russia so to speak. We are not going to do that," Makei stressed adding that Belarus had clearly expressed its position at the Riga summit and it had been accepted by all the participants.

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