EU Ambassador: Belarus and EU share common interests and challenges (23/09/2016)
The EU shares common history, common interests, and common global challenges, the Head of the European Union Delegation to Belarus, Ambassador Andrea Wiktorin, has said in an interview with EU Neighbours East project.
“We are looking towards our direct neighbours, because they are our most important partners, and again we share a lot of perspective, common history, and common values,” he said. ”Belarus is really one of these countries, Belarus has borders with three European Member States, Lithuania, Latvia and Poland, and they share a common history, so it’s really important to develop a common background of understanding, and we are working closely together, always in the perspective of the European Neighbourhood Policy, and especially, naturally, within the framework of the Eastern Partnership.”
The Ambassador also highlighted EU support for different areas of the Belarusian economy, environment and education: “We have the principle of co-ownership, which means we select common interests, we have a very good cooperation, in the field of environment – this is of common interest for both sides. We also support small- and medium-sized businesses, we are cooperating in the field of regional development, also regional economic development, because naturally Belarus is an important trade partner, so we have an interest that the country is developing its economic potential and trade.
”We also want Belarus to become a partner of the WTO, and we are supporting Belarus in this endeavour…. But also in the field of education, and in the field of culture, we have an intensive dialogue, and also well-established projects in our common interest.”
“For me personally, people-to-people contacts are very important. They allow us to share experience and develop new views,” Wiktorin concluded.
The interview has been produced by the EU Neighbours East project. (EU Neighbourhood Info)
Full version of the interview on the EU Neighbourhood Info Centre website
EU Neighbours youtube channel - full video version of the interview