MINSK, 9 October (BelTA) – Belarus is looking forward to resolving visa issues as soon as possible and is eager to step up mutually beneficial cooperation with the European Union, Belarus Prime Minister Sergei Rumas said as he met with Head of the EU Delegation to Belarus Dirk Schuebel, BelTA has learned.
Sergei Rumas said that he is satisfied with the progress in Belarus-EU dialogue. In recent years the parties have laid solid basis for cooperation, but there is still much to do to bring the relations to a new level in order to explore the full potential of the relations.
“Belarus does not intend to join the EU. However, we are interested in cooperation with the EU in a lot of areas. We should dismantle the remaining barriers and start intensifying trade and economic, investment, and sectoral cooperation and bolstering ties between businessmen,” Sergei Rumas said.
Sergei Rumas stressed the necessity to improve the legal framework of cooperation. For example, he pointed out that there is no basic cooperation agreement between Belarus and the EU.
Speaking about the visa facilitation agreement with the EU, Sergei Rumas noted that Belarus completed all the necessary internal procedures. “We hope that the EU will also finish these procedures soon,” he said.
Belarus is interested in establishing fruitful cooperation with the new members who will come to the European Commission as of 1 November 2019. The EU Delegation to Belarus could help with this. “In late 2018 –early 2019, Belarus actively interacted with European commissioners and we hope that new members of the European Commission will also devote attention to Belarus,” Sergei Rumas noted.
For his part, Dirk Schuebel said that he worked with Belarus in his previous position and took part in negotiations over the partnership priorities agreement. “I hope that we will manage to settle the remaining issues and eventually sign the agreement in order to move forward,” he said.
Photos by Andrei Pokumeiko