Lukashenka: Belarus welcomes Eastern Partnership


Belarus welcomes the Eastern Partnership, an initiative of the European Union, Alexander Lukashenka said on February 2 in an interview with Euronews. He described this initiative as a pragmatic, sensible and timely move of the European Union.

The European Commission offered the participation in the Eastern Partnership program to six post-Soviet countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. These countries are offered an agreement on the association and creation of a new European economic zone, which should become a basis for the development of a common domestic market. The Eastern Partnership aims to expand the package of possible proposals for the six countries.

The abolition of the visa regime and the creation of a free-trade zone are regarded as long-term goals. The full-fledged participation of Belarus in the program remains under question. The European Union is expected to take a final decision on this matter in spring after having evaluated the progress of Belarus in terms of democratization.