In search of ‘opportunities’: Belarus, EU may sign agreement on partnership priorities in 2018

The final stage has been reached in the coordination of the EU-Belarus partnership priorities for 2018-2020, Belarus’ Deputy Foreign Minister Aleh Krauchanka told journalists at the forum “The European Union and the Eastern Partnership: Approaches to Regional Cooperation” on Monday.

“We are at the final stage of coordinating partnership priorities. But still, it will take us time to fully tihave some technical details to finalize,” Krauchanka said.

According to him, the document may be signed in H1 2018.

“We consider it an important document for many purposes. We will be bound by the document containing the word “partnership”. The document will open access to financial instruments, which the European Union will bring in within the Eastern Partnership,” he stressed.

The issues mentioned above would be discussed by the Belarus-E coordination group in Brussels in December 2017. The group talks over all the issues, including transport, environment, customs cooperation and human rights,” Krauchanka said.

“This initiative is not a one-way street, and, of course, we are not going to get resources out of the EU. We are seeking security, prosperity, economic development as well as opportunities in education and business for our people,” the top official said.

Belarus and the EU intend to launch negotiations on the basic agreement.

“We are not going to sign an association agreement. We should have such document as Russian and the EU both between themselves. We need it to be concluded and signed as soon as possible,” he added.

Belarusian Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makey, who is taking part in today’s summit of the Eastern Partnership, has answered journalists’ questions.

At the recent EaP summit in Brussels, Belarusian Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makey expressed his confidence that a new EU-Belarus agreement would be signed ‘sooner rather than later’

“We need to move on gradually. Certain steps should be taken by each party. I think there is a recognition that such an agreement needs to be concluded,” he stressed answering a Belsat journalist’s question.

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