While following uniform approach to developing relations with all foreign partners Belarus, like any other state, focuses its foreign policy on the most important and promising directions.
Neighboring 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 unification formations in the post-Soviet area: the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).
The European Union is objectively an important trade partner and a source of investments for Belarus.
A new level of cooperation has been achieved with the countries of the South.
Belarus has consistently pronounced itself for normalization of relations with the United States of America.
An important direction of the Belarus’ foreign policy is the multilateral diplomacy and cooperation in international organizations.
The Republic of Belarus is eager to use in full the potential of a strategic partnership of relations with the Russian Federation bilaterally, in the framework of the Union State and other post-Soviet integrations. A comprehensive bilateral agenda is necessitated by geographical, geopolitical, historical factors, mutual complementarity of economies and close cooperation among enterprises of the two states.
While developing mutually beneficial cooperation with Russia, Belarus strictly follows the principle of unconditional preservation of sovereignty and territorial integrity of the states, and responsible implementation of their international obligations.
Basing on common history, economic and humanitarian ties Belarus aims at development of a multi-track interaction with the CIS countries and other states at the post-Soviet area at bilateral level and within the framework of integration structures – CIS, EAEU and CSTO. Official Minsk concentrates its efforts on supporting constructive political dialogue, trade turnover increase, arrangement of cooperative ties, scientific-technical as well as cultural relations with the CIS countries and Georgia.
Belarus supports the development of the CIS integration potential, first of all, in the economic area. The successful cooperation in energy, transport, industry, the development of innovation technology, and the implementation of provisions of the Free Trade Area Treaty aimed at eliminating the existing trade barriers guarantee the 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 member states. The launch of EAEU on 1 January 2015 is a qualitative step forward in the formation of common market based on the norms and principles of WTO with the population of over 182 million people with high scientific, industrial and technological potential.
EAEU will contribute to the creation of additional conditions for modernization and sustainable development of the Belarusian economy by ensuring free movement of goods, services, capital and work force, implementation of integrated (single) policy in the key sectors of economy, implementation of joint investment and innovation projects, common competition rules, standards and requirements for goods and services.
The Republic of Belarus contributes to strengthening the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in political, military, military-technical, information and other dimensions; developing cooperation in combating drug trafficking, illegal migration, transnational organized crime, preventing emergencies, strengthening foreign policy coordination among CSTO member states, and developing the constructive interaction between CSTO and other international organizations.
Among foreign policy priorities of Belarus in Europe is increased partnership with The European Union countries in the areas of mutual interest, including 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 military, political, energy and environmental security, combating crime, drug trafficking, 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 providing a new consultative format for a structural political dialogue between Belarus and the European Union. Its first meeting was held in April 2016 in Brussels.
Countries of Asia, Latin America and Africa
Belarus intends to strengthen and expand the larger «foreign policy arc» of allies and partners in Asia, Latin America, Middle East and Africa, to elevate the cooperation with countries serving as Belarus’ foothold to the level of strategic partnership.
Diversification of trade, development of joint production with the countries of these regions are important prerequisites for the growth of the Belarusian export-oriented economy.
Main avenues of cooperation are the intensification of political and economic interaction with traditional partners (Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Vietnam, Egypt, India, Iran, China, Cuba, the UAE, Syria, Japan, South Africa), the development of a dialogue and active penetration into the markets with a substantial potential for a mutually beneficial cooperation (Angola, Australia, Bolivia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Qatar, Columbia, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Ecuador, Ethiopia and other countries).
United States of America
Belarus stands for developing a constructive and equal dialogue with the United States of America, extension of a full-scale bilateral cooperation on the topical issues of global agenda based on mutual interest, 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 made consistent efforts to normalize the cooperation across the board.
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 the weapons of mass destruction, reducing and eliminating their arsenals, counteracting international terrorism. Belarus supports a balanced reform of the United Nations aimed at its adapting to the new realities.
Among national priorities is the promotion of the following key Belarusian initiatives in 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 role of the Non-Aligned Movement in international processes as an influential international actor, promotion of intensive dialogue and cooperation between the NAM and other major political and economic centers, 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 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 spheres; intensification of the collaboration on the issues of regional and global security, counteracting terrorism, trafficking in drugs and human beings. Belarus is determined to take an active part in the SCO’s activities as an observer in all fields of common interest.