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MOSCOW, October 27 /TASS/. Minsk does not have any "rosy expectations" about relations with the European Union but notes a trend towards their normalization, Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei said in an interview with the Kommersant newspaper.
"The European Union understood with time that Belarus is not a puppet in anybody’s hands but an independent state, which pursues an independent policy proceeding from its national interests," Makei said.
"Naturally, a combination of circumstances has also helped the European Union to realize the motives of the Belarusian leadership in making internal and external political decisions," he stressed.
"We do not have any rosy expectations that all the doors will open tomorrow and that the European Union will meet Belarus with open arms. But there is a trend towards normalizing our relations," Makei stressed.
The Belarusian foreign minister denied that normal relations between Minsk and Brussels could distance Belarus from Russia. "We are not even considering this perspective," he confirmed.
"The European Union is our second largest trade and economic partner after Russia. Our desire to have normal relations with the European Union derives from our desire to have normal trade and economic relations.
"Our economy is export-oriented, and we have to sell 60%-70% of goods manufactured in the country abroad and are interested in the markets for our products but not at the expense of Russia or to the detriment of Russia," the Belarusian foreign minister stressed.