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Belarusian foreign minister says Western sanctions against his country are futile

October 18, 2015, 23:53 UTC+3 MINSK
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MINSK, October 18. /TASS/. Western sanctions against Belarus are futile, and Europe is interested in their lifting, Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makey said on Sunday.

"The history of our relations with the European Union proves that sanctions are a futile thing that has never been crowned with any success," he told the national television.

He said Minsk was interested in the swift lifting of the sanctions, which, in his words, was in the interests of the European Union as well. "Even before the presidential elections in Belarus and after them our European partners spoke in favour of suspending and abandoning the sanctions," Makey said. "Finally, Europe is beginning to understand that Belarus is not a troublemaker in the region, on the contrary, it is a donor of stability and security."

The minister underscored that along with the Europeans Belarusians were working on joint tasks, such as addressing issues of illegal migration, fighting drug trafficking, international crime and ensuring reliable transit of energy resources. Europe, in his words, is beginning to see that Belarus creates no problems for its neighbours, but stands for tranquility on the continent and always has its own opinion and acts exclusively in its national interests.

Makey said the Belarusian side would look at concrete actions taken by the European Union but the very fact that there were statements about possible cancellation of the sanctions was considered in Minsk in positive terms. The European Union however "is a huge bureaucratic machine," he said, adding that it needed certain time to discuss and agree decisions with all of its member states.

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