/ / News

High hopes for Belarus-Poland active dialogue

MINSK (BelTA) – I hope Belarus and Poland will resume an active dialogue, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said as he met with Marshal of the Senate of Poland Stanislaw Karczewski on 5 December.

“I have high hopes and I am almost confident that your visit to Belarus will pave the way for the start of the most active dialogue between our countries. With all the interests of Poland and Belarus in mind, we have nothing to quarrel about. We have always lived in friendship and concord. We have a shared history. I would like to assure you that we will always be open in respect to our common history. We are ready to provide answers to any questions coming from the Polish side,” said the Belarusian leader.

Alexander Lukashenko also emphasized the countries' similar views on the history. “The history should not be changed to please politicians. The history must not be altered because of some ongoing events. Our main goal is to know our history as accurately as possible and to act in such a way so that we would not be blamed for ignoring the historical past and lessons,” said the President.

According to the head of state, the bilateral political dialogue has been recently intensified. There was a number of visits at different levels. Belarus and Poland have a relatively high level of trade and economic relations. “This, however, does not meet our potential. I think we can do a lot better. You can be confident that there are no closed themes for us. We will always be open and ready to discuss any matter,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

The Belarusian head of state added that the two countries need to raise their political relations to the level of the economic ones.

“Without people's diplomacy and parliamentary dimension it is difficult to build political and economic relations in the present-day world. Your visit is also important to us as it will promote the normalization of our relations and secure a new level of cooperation,” the head of state said.

In January-September 2016 the trade between Belarus and Poland totaled $1.52 billion as against $1.38 billion over the same period last year. Belarus' exports to Poland made up $642.5 million (up 12.4%); the import from Poland was $877.6 million (8%). Poland is Belarus' third largest partner in trade, sixth in exports and third in imports.

In January-September 2016 Belarus attracted $174.5 million worth of Polish investment in its economy. Poland is among top ten countries investing in the Belarusian economy.

In Poland there are 17 representative offices, subsidiaries, and entities of the Belarusian commodity distribution network. Over 350 Polish-funded companies operate in Belarus.

Belarus and Poland have considerably intensified their inter-parliamentary cooperation in 2016. In April Poland's Sejm set up the Polish-Belarusian parliamentary group. The fifth-convocation National Assembly of Belarus decided on setting up a working group to develop cooperation with the Polish parliament in June 2016.