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Published: 4 december 2012 16:05

Belarusian Ambassador: EU should not forget that Belarus is fighting illegal migration and international crime

Anot Baltarusijos ambasadorius Lietuvoje V.Dražino, Klaipėdos uosto krovos kompanijos yra pagrindiniai Baltarusijos krovinių siuntėjų ir gavėjų partneriai.
BEGA nuotr. / Belarusian Ambassador Vladimir Drazhin

Brussels should not forget that Minsk is putting every effort in fighting illegal migration, arms trade, and international crime, Belarusian Ambassador to Lithuania Vladimir Drazhin has said at a press conference on Tuesday in comment on his country's relations with the European Union.

According to the ambassador, Belarusian export to the EU is worth almost USD 15 billion but certain Belarusian goods face sanctions imposed by the Community against Belarus' regime and businesspeople close to it.

"Today we are talking about exports to the EU that is equal to USD 14.9 billion. This example shows that we plan to continue the policy of exporting goods and services to the EU. At the same time, we have to say that we are facing certain trade restrictions. 32 Belarusian companies are facing restrictions related to EU sanctions. This is what is hindering us and we would be glad if those obstacles were removed," Drazhin said.

In his words, Minsk is in favor of "equal and mutually respectful relations with all EU member states and the EU itself."

"Dear friends, I would like to say one more thing. Since Belarus is in the center of Europe, we are facing different challenges and threats and should not forget that the Republic (of Belarus – BNS) is today working very hard preventing international terrorism, international crime, illegal migration, human trafficking, and trade in arms and drugs. Belarus is holding this position in Europe with respect and thinks not only about itself but also about the whole Europe. And the European Union has to keep it in mind today," the diplomat said, adding that "our relations have to improve."

According to Drazhin, "Belarus' relations with Lithuania provide the opportunity to look at Belarus' relations with the EU."

"We are grateful to the State of Lithuania for that fact that it has been and still is in favor of positive initiatives related to the dynamic development of our relations with the EU. Most importantly, what satisfies as in the long run is that these should be mutually respectable and mutually acceptable relations," he said.

The diplomat said Vilnius-Minsk relations on the political level were "positive," referring to bilateral visits of the heads of state and government of both countries in recent years.

"We have always respected and continue respecting people's choice. The elections in Lithuania have brought to power the winning parties. I will say in one sentence: the Belarusian side has always respected and will respect any government which is formed pursuant to the Lithuanian Constitution and based on the election results. I am convinced that the Belarusian side will always constructively work in all directions the future holds for us," the Belarusian ambassador said when asked what he expected from cooperation with Lithuania's new government.

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