Last week the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini cancelled her trip to Minsk. Belarus Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei explained the reasons for cancellation and said when Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko will visit the EU.
“There is no mystery or conspiracy here. It turned out that there was overlap in schedules,” said Makei on the sidelines of the Minsk Dialogue Forum “European Security: Stepping Back from the Brink” on Monday, 7 October.
The minister said that Minsk had long been preparing for the Eastern Partnership meeting, simultaneously waiting for a response from the European partners on the date. Unfortunately, when the Belarusian side got the response, it turned out that major political events both in the EU and in Belarus overlapped postponing the meeting.
Nonetheless, the minister stressed that he believes the high-level meeting in Minsk will be held sooner or later. The date is currently under discussion. As to the president’s plan to visit the EU in the near future, the minister noted that he hopes “this year we will pay a full-fledged visit to the European Union.”
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“We have always said that a visit cannot be made for the sake of a visit. A visit can be paid only then (and this is our principled approach) when it is well-prepared and when we expect specific important results from it for the trade, economic, political, and humanitarian cooperation,” he stressed.
Answering to the question of whether the visit is somehow connected to the EU and Belarus visa facilitation agreement, Vladimir Makei replied evasively said: “everything in the world is interconnected.”