4 Jun 2019 15:27

EU-EAEU cooperation shouldn't face political obstacles - Belarusian FM

MINSK. June 4 (Interfax) - Minsk believes the European Union (EU) and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) should arrange a dialogue, Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei said.

"The development of Eastern Partnership should go along with the development of dialogue between the EU and the EAEU. I don't see any reasons why interaction that benefits both sides should face political obstacles," Makei said at a workshop reviewing the ten-year record of Eastern Partnership in Minsk on Tuesday.

The existence of competing trade regimes directly or indirectly forces countries to make a choice between them, Makei said. "A bloc approach in the economy engenders a bloc approach in politics. Dialogue between the EU and the EAEU would help eliminate this bloc approach and dispel the myth that the Eastern and Western economic and value systems are incompatible," he said.

The necessity of making this choice often serves as the root cause of many conflicts, he said.

"Developing a paradigm of their [the EU and the EAEU's] peaceful coexistence, if not cooperation, is vitally important to us as a prerequisite of stable trade-economic architecture in the region," Makei said.

Just as many others in the West, Belarus anticipates significant dividends from the establishment of a harmonic economic environment stretching from Lisbon to Vladivostok, he said.

"The conclusion in the future of a founding agreement between Belarus and the European Union, taking into account our obligations in the EAEU, and Belarus's accession to the WTO [World Trade Organization] should become a brick in this project's foundation," Makei said.