Belsat TV asked the Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makey about traps and pitfalls in the Belarusian-Lithuanian relations. The top diplomat is now taking part in the summit on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Eastern Partnership initiative.
“You know, during yesterday’s dinner with government heads, representatives of the EaP countries and EU leaders, I said that one of the principles on which the EaP is based is ‘more for more’. For example, we want to move towards the EU in certain fields. But we are being thwarted by the circumstances connected with the stance of one country,” Makey told Belsat when asked for comment on the Lithuanian side’s allegedly blocking the signing of the Partnership Priotities agreement between the EU and Belarus.
According to the minister, many ‘nodded in aproval’.
As reported earlier, although the European Union invited Alyaksandr Lukashenka to dinner to celebrate the 10nth anniversary of the EaP, it was decided that Uladzimir Makey would replace him. In 2017, the top Belarusian diplomat also visited the EaP Summit, where the Belarusian president had been invited.
Lithuania’s taking a firm line might be stemming from Belarus’ constructing of the nuclear poer plant in Astravets which is only 50 km from Vilnius.
“We think it is bad when we cannot sign the Partnership Priorities agreement due to the position of one country. And this position is far-fetched. But we keep calm and intend to continue our dialogue. All the more so, because our conscience is clear. As far as the construction of the NPP in Belarus is concerned, our policy is transparent. We work with the IAEA, we invited and will invite a number of missions from the organization. We voluntarily carried out stress tests proposed by the European Commission, and basing on the results of their analysis, we have developed a national plan for assuring more safety at the nuclear power plant,” Makey stressed on May, 14.
The EU-Belarus Partnership Priorities agreement is a roadmap to develop cooperation in 2019-2020. It should be recalled that the Belarusian authorities have been saying that the signing of this agreement is the nearest prospect since 2017.
As for the issue of visa facilitation and readmission. the negotiation began in 2014. Earlier, EU Delegation Head Andrea Wiktorin expressed hope that the document on simplifying the visa regime with Belarus would be signed at the end of 2018.