/ / News

No long-term danger in Belarus-EU dispute

MINSK, 5 March (BelTA) – The situation involving European ambassadors does not threaten long-term relations of Belarus and the European Union, Andrei Savinykh, Head of the Information Office, Press Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus, said during the program Kartina Mira (world view) broadcast by the TV channel RTR Belarus on 3 March.

According to Andrei Savinykh, no bridges have been burnt, “sooner or later we will start talks”. “I am convinced that nothing threatens our long-term relations with the European Union. It looks like a certain information campaign. Actions of the European Union aimed at threatening Belarus with sanctions are made look like something insignificant. Belarus’ proposal for two ambassadors to go for consultations is presented as something global, the end of the world or the end of mutual relations. It is nothing like that”.

Andrei Savinykh remarked that major powers, particularly Western countries, use their economic potential to get their point across. “This policy will not work with Belarus,” stressed the representative of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry. Belarus is intent on productive cooperation. “The only thing we would like the European Union to understand is that the policy of pressure, intimidation, the policy of sanctions against Belarus has not worked and will not work,” said Andrei Savinykh.

He reminded the European Union introduced the first restrictions against Belarus back in 1997. It means the policy is 15 years old already. The policy has proven to be ineffective many times and it has to end sometime. The European Union may be looking for a way to save its face to get out of the nosedive, said Andrei Savinykh. “If a normal productive dialogue begins, we will always be ready to think about how we can help our partners accomplish it,” he remarked.

Belarus will work in every field for it. The country is not a source of confrontations and does not want the differences to escalate. “All our actions are part of the desire for more active consultations for the sake of returning our dialogue back to productive discussion about all the existing problems and differences,” said Andrei Savinykh. For now it is difficult to evaluate when the conflict will end, in what ways it will end, because there are some unexpected spontaneous decisions that go beyond the normal diplomatic relations.

Asked whether Belarus will take reciprocal measures in response to the recall of Belarusian ambassadors from the European Union, the Foreign Ministry representative underlined that for now “we have no plans for such measures and would not like the situation to spin that way”. Nevertheless, Belarus can take measures to protect its interests.

Belarus’ proposal for European ambassadors to go and consultations with their governments is a normal practice of diplomatic relations. “I cannot say that the recall of an ambassador to resolve an issue is some kind of a hostile act. It is a clear exaggeration. It has happened in the past and not only in relations between Belarus and other nations. It is part of the normal diplomatic process,” said Andrei Savinykh.

Andrei Savinykh believes a dual standards policy is pursued. He referred to Kosovo as an example. International investigations have registered cases of people going missing and organs being harvested there. The situation is being resolved but there is no talk about enforcing sanctions against the territorial formation. “The problem is hushed up. Dual standards are in open use,” said the representative of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry.