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Priorities of the foreign policy of the Republic of Belarus

Belarus is following common approaches to developing relations with all foreign partners and like any other state focuses its foreign policy on the most important and promising directions.

Neighbouring countries are among them and the Russian Federation is topping the list as a state, with which cooperation is built on a union basis.

Belarus consistently promotes the idea of integration and holds an active and constructive position in the post-Soviet area unions: the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).

An objectively important trade partner and a source of investments for Belarus is the European Union.

A new level of cooperation has been achieved with the countries of the so called “far arc” of the Belarusian foreign policy (Asia, Africa and Latin America).

Belarus has been consistently pronouncing itself for normalization of relations with the United States of America.

Another important direction of the Belarus’ foreign policy is multilateral diplomacy and cooperation in international organizations.

Russian Federation

Belarus is eager to use in full the potential of strategic partnership relations with the Russian Federation on a bilateral basis, in the framework of the Union State, and other integrations in the post-Soviet area.

A comprehensive bilateral agenda is determined by geographical, geopolitical, historical factors, complementarity of the two economies and close cooperation among enterprises of the two states.

Developing a mutually beneficial cooperation with Russia, Belarus strictly follows the principle of unconditional sovereignty and territorial integrity of the states, and responsible implementation of their international obligations.

CIS Area

Basing on common history, economic and humanitarian ties Belarus aims at development of multi-track interaction with the CIS countries and other states at the post-Soviet area both bilaterally and within the framework of CIS, EAEU and CSTO. Official Minsk concentrates its efforts on supporting constructive political dialogue, increase in trade, arrangement of cooperative ties, scientific and technical as well as cultural relations with the CIS countries and Georgia.

Belarus supports development of the CIS integration potential first of all in the economic area. Successful cooperation in energy, transport, industry, innovation technologies development and implementation of the Free Trade Area Treaty are aimed at eliminating existing trade barriers and guarantee improvement of welfare and quality of life of the CIS nations.

Eurasian Economic Union opens up fundamentally new prospects in terms of promoting national interests of its member states. The launch of EAEU on January 1, 2015 is a qualitative step forward in formation of a common market, based on the WTO norms and principles, with the population of over 182 million people with a high potential in science, industry and technology.

Additional conditions for modernization and sustainable development of the Belarusian economy will be created in the EAEU by ensuring a free movement of goods, services, capital and work force, by implementation of a coordinated (or single) policy in key sectors of economy, realisation of joint investment and innovation projects, introduction of common competition rules, standards and requirements for goods and services, access to services of natural monopolies and to the state procurements market.

Belarus contributes to strengthening the Collective Security Treaty Organization in all areas of its competence (political, military, military and technical, information); in developing cooperation to combat drug trafficking, illegal migration, transnational organized crime; in emergency management; in strengthening the CSTO member states’ coordination in foreign policy, and in developing constructive interaction between the CSTO and other international organizations.

European Union

Belarus foreign policy priorities in Europe are focused on intensification of partnerships with the European Union countries in areas of mutual interest: trade and investments, transport, transit, cross-border and regional cooperation, energy, and environmental protection.

Belarus is a reliable partner of the EU in both maintaining stability in the region and developing cooperation on strategic issues of pan-European importance: strengthening energy and environmental security; conflict management; combating crime, illicit drug trafficking, and illegal migration.

Lifting on February 2016 of the majority of restrictive measures against Belarus opens qualitatively new prospects for cooperation with the EU and its member-states.

A Belarus-EU Coordination Group was set up as a new consultative format for structured political dialogue between Belarus and the European Union. Its first meeting was held in April 2016 in Brussels.

Countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America

Belarus intends to strengthen and expand its “far arc” of foreign allies and partners in Asia, Latin America and Africa, to promote cooperation with the regional pillar countries to the level of strategic partnership.

Diversification of trade and extension of economic cooperation with these countries are important prerequisites to enable growth of the Belarusian export-oriented economy.

Main lines of cooperation: intensification of political and economic interaction with traditional partners (Argentina, Brazil, China, Cuba, Egypt, India, Iran, Japan, South Africa, Syria, UAE, Venezuela, Vietnam), dialogue and active penetration into markets having  strong potential for a mutually beneficial cooperation (Angola, Australia, Bolivia, Cambodia, Columbia, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Sudan and others).

United States of America

Belarus stands for developing a constructive and equal dialogue with the United States of America, extending a full-scale bilateral cooperation on topical issues of global agenda based on mutual interests, including fight against trafficking in persons, combating illicit trafficking in drugs and psychotropic substances, cybercrime and spread of child pornography on the Internet, protecting nuclear facilities, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Despite complex political relations Belarus has been making consistent efforts to normalize cooperation across the board.

Multilateral diplomacy

Belarus contributes to strengthening the central role of the United Nations in solving global problems, supports the UN policy in promoting international peace and security, strengthening and developing international regimes of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, reducing and eliminating WMD arsenals, counteracting international terrorism. Belarus supports a balanced reform of the United Nations aimed at its adapting the Organisation to the new realities.

It is a priority for us to promote the following key Belarus initiatives within the UN: on intensification of international anti-trafficking efforts; on protection of interests and values of the traditional family; on promotion in the UN of interests of the middle-income countries; on launching with the UN support a new stage of the international Chernobyl cooperation, aimed at reaching the Sustainable Development Goals through partnership, innovations and investments; on acknowledging the diversity of ways of progressive development as a universal value; on inadmissibility of using unilateral coercive measures to exert political pressure on sovereign states; on preventing politicization of human rights issues in the UN; on developing the UN comprehensive energy agenda; on preventing of illegal trafficking in human organs.

Belarus is interested in increasing of the Non-Aligned Movement’s importance as an influential international actor; promoting intensive dialogue and cooperation between the NAM and other major political and economic centres; in active bilateral trade and economic relations with the NAM member states.

Belarus stands for maintaining and further strengthening of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, fostering its comprehensive reform aimed at removing existing shortcomings and imbalances, as well as at transforming the OSCE into an efficient and transparent structure operating for the benefit of all its member states.

The Republic of Belarus looks forward to a stronger partnership with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in political, economic, energy, transport, scientific and military-technical fields; intensification of cooperation on regional and global security, counteracting terrorism, illicit trafficking in drugs and in persons. Belarus is determined to take an active part in the SCO’s activities as an observer in all areas of common interest.