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Minsk to develop ties with EU without damaging relations with Moscow — foreign minister

April 08, 2016, 17:49 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Moscow is still the key strategic partner for Minsk, Vladimir Makei notes

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Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei

Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei


MOSCOW, April 8. /TASS/. Moscow remains the main strategic partner for Minsk, its relations with the European Union (EU) will not affect Russia-Belarus ties, Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei said on Friday.

"Moscow is still the key strategic partner for Minsk," Makei said. "But that does not mean we should not develop relations with other countries."

"The EU is our second most important trade and economic partner," the minister said. "But we will develop the relations with no damage to ties with Russia."

Belarus is not a ship that drifts one way or another so Moscow can always count on Minsk, Makei went on to say.

"Our region is not a ship that drifts one way or another. There is a lot that always connected and will continue to connect us with Russia - history, economic, military and political cooperation. Russia can always count on Belarus," Makei said.

"Russia is our main strategic partner but this does not mean that we should not have normal relations with other countries. The European Union for us is an important trade and economic partner," he added.

Accusations of fueling anti-Russian sentiment blasphemous

Accusations that Minsk fuels nationalism and anti-Russian sentiment are blasphemous, Belarusian Foreign Minister continued.

"Some shallow and marginal people accuse our country of fueling nationalism. This is not the case, and it can never be," Makei said.

"When they try to accuse us of fueling nationalist and anti-Russian sentiment, it’s blasphemy. [Russians] are the closest people, and we know that Russia will always help us at difficult times," he added.

"History is sacred for our country, especially when it comes to the history of the Second World War. And it would be blasphemous to say that manifestations of nationalism which are noted, in particular, in several European countries, are typical for Belarus," the foreign minister noted.

Makei stressed that "even during the rampant 1990s, when monuments to leaders of the revolution were destroyed in Russia, not a single monument was demolished in Belarus." "Monuments are not to blame for what happened and what is going on, people are to blame. Why would we destroy monuments? Let them stand to educate our descendants. We never demolished and are not going to destroy a single monument," he added.

Crimea’s recognition is to rest on where it belongs de facto

Crimea’s recognition is to rest on the fact where it belongs to de facto now, Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makey said on Friday.

"Politics should rest on realities," he said. "We should proceed from the fact where Crimea belongs to de facto."

"It doesn’t mean that we agree or disagree with anything," he stressed. "We believe that the key task now is to preserve territorial integrity and inviolability of what has remained of Ukraine."

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