Belarus will not befriend EU in way harmful for other states - Lukashenko

MINSK. Nov 2 (Interfax) - Belarus will not sacrifice social and political stability and cooperation with Russia in the pursuit of closer integration with the European Union, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said at the Monday conference on the Belarusian foreign policy.

"We will not befriend the European Union in a way harmful for third states and vice versa," he said.

"One must realize that Belarus is not a beggar in European relations," he said.

Belarus is a reliable and time-tested partner of the European Union in the provision of regional stability, security, energy and cargo transit, Lukashenko said.

Belarus makes a large contribution to the suppression of transboundary crime and illegal migration, he noted. "Thus, not only the EU is advantageous for us but also Belarus is advantageous for Europe," he said.

"We cannot allow our participation in common European processes to nullify all benefits from integration with CIS member states, including Russia," he said.

"A certain warming has emerged in the Belarus-Europe dialog," Lukashenko said. In his words, contacts with European businessmen have intensified, and credit and investment cooperation with international financial institutions is on the rise, he said.

"We are a fully fledged member of the Eastern Partnership program, although the effect of this membership is not tangible so far," Lukashenko said.

He regretted the inclination of certain European capitals to use "political and economic pressure instruments in the relations with Belarus."

"There is still a number of limitations, quite serious for my country," he said.


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