30 Jan 2018 15:28

Belarus wants strong EU - Lukashenko

MINSK. Jan 30 (Interfax) - Belarus wants the European Union to be strong and act as a key pillar of a multi-polar world, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said.

"We staunchly support the existence of a strong EU. We are categorically against any centrifugal forces in the EU that weaken it," Lukashenko was quoted by the BelTA news agency as saying at talks with Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn in Minsk on Tuesday.

The Belarusian president added that he was not saying this to flatter anyone, but because Belarus is genuinely committed to the idea of a multi-polar world.

"The EU is one of the most powerful pillars of our planet, and the destruction of this main pillar of a multi-polar world will lead to the destruction not only of the security system, but also of the economy and all other spheres of life on our planet," he said.

Lukashenko said that he had openly and honestly articulated this position to members of the UK's royal family and high-ranking UK officials who recently visited Minsk.

Hahn, for his part, said that overcoming external and internal challenges makes the EU stronger.