On November 11-12, Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka is on an official visit to Austria. A number of bilateral documents and business agreements on cooperation in trade, economy, investment and humanitarian affairs are expected to be signed during his stay in Vienna.
On Friday, the Belarusian leader is meeting with Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen, President of the National Council of Austria Wolfgang Sobotka and Chairman of the Austrian People’s Party Sebastian Kurz. During the meetings, the question of Belarus’ cooperation with the European Union, including within the EaP format, will be raised.
The visit is taking place in the run-up to Russia’s and Belarus’ Prime Ministers negotiating the two countries’ integration ‘roadmaps.
Упершыню з 2016 году Лукашэнка ў ЕЗ!А раней ён казаў: «Я видел Европу. Все сжато, все задымлено, все грязно, люди трутся один об другого, толкаются»Ай-ай-ай, як жа ён там, у гэтай Еўропе? 😢А вось як!https://belsat.eu/news/upershynyu-z-2016-godu-lukashenka-navedvae-europu/
Opublikowany przez «Белсат» Wtorek, 12 listopada 2019
In February 2016, in the wake of the latest presidential elections in Belarus, the European Union decided to lift its sanctions against Alyaksandr Lukashenka and 169 Belarusian officials cancelling the visa ban and assets freeze. So, the Belarusian leader has been free to come to any European city.
In September 2018, the Belarusian president was invited to Paris to take part in the events on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. However, Alyaksandr Lukashenka failed to show up at the celebrations; our country was represented by Mikhail Myasnikovich, Chairman of the Council of the Republic of Belarus.
In March 2019, Polish president Andrzej Duda issued invitations to the ceremonies marking the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War to leaders of EU, NATO and the EaP countries, including Alyaksandr Lukashenka. But the Belarusian leader is unlikely to accept it as Russia’s Vladimir Putin was not invited to the event.
In May, the European Union invited Lukashenka to dinner to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the EaP initiative, but it was decided that Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makey would replace him. In 2017, the top Belarusian diplomat also visited the EaP Summit, where the Belarusian president had been invited.
In late July, Lukashenka told Latvia’s Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics that he was looking forward to seeing Riga.
In late October, the presidential press service confirmed the earlier reports about his intention to make visits to Austria and Latvia. Alyaksandr Lukashenka called it ‘opening the window to Europe’ and compared himself to Russian emperor Peter the Great.