Font size:

Statement by Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus, V.Makei, at the Extraordinary Virtual Summit of the Heads of Governments of the Central European Initiative (May 15, 2020)

Dear Prime Minister Markovic,

Dear Secretary General,

Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me start by thanking the Montenegrin Presidency and the Executive Secretariat for the preparation of this timely and highly relevant summit. 

Belarus stands together in solidarity with other CEI Member States affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Our words of sympathy and support go to all countries affected by the coronavirus and especially to Italy who took the heaviest toll. 

We welcome the first signs of economic revival and softening of the restrictions across the region. Let us hope that the gradual return to normality will continue and we will all come out of this crisis more united and resilient to future challenges.

Belarus has been successful so far in keeping the death rate low and the rise in infections controllable. We have set up in place an extensive system of blood tests at a relatively early stage. Twenty-four laboratories in Belarus work around the clock and the number of daily tests keeps growing.

The capacity of our hospitals allows us to avoid, for the time being, massive shutdowns. The national healthcare employs over 300,000 people; the total bed capacity is about 100,000. The quantity of available ventilators is 25 per 100,000 citizens, together with anesthetic and breathing equipment – 36, which is a relatively high index.

All competent institutions follow coordinated measures and procedures to fight the pandemic. They are broadly in line with the approach chosen by many other countries, with or without all-out quarantine measures. We put in place social distancing rules, individual protection measures, disinfections of public places and transport, “stay-at-home” recommendations for the elderly.

Belarus works closely with the WHO whose experts assessed the situation in my country on April 8-11. Three days ago, President of Belarus discussed it with the WHO Director-General and invited him to visit my country once the situation stabilizes.

Last April, the Government of Belarus has prepared an initial package of measures to support most affected branches of economy employing 550 thousand people. It includes measures of monetary and prudential policy, support for the real sector of economy, protection of the consumer market.

We highly appreciate the assistance offered to us by our international partners, including the EU, EBRD, EIB, US, and World Bank. We work hard to make sure their help reaches promptly those who need it most.

I fully agree with the Presidency that in fighting coronavirus no one should be left behind, including internationally. It is only by joint and coordinated action that we can overcome the negative impact of the pandemic.

Belarus welcomes the launch of the CEI Extraordinary Call for Proposals which prompted a high interest from all Member States. Belarus’ organisations submitted a hundred of applications worth more than three million euros. Since the overall budget of the call was just 600 thousand euros, additional support of the European Union and international financial institutions would be highly appreciated.

The virus inflicted enormous damage on the economies of the region jeopardizing the well-being of our societies. We need to focus on developing joint solutions for post-corona economic recovery. Particular attention should be paid to keeping the borders open and markets accessible, ensuring free flow of people and goods across borders, supporting small and medium-sized enterprises.

At this difficult moment, the Central European Initiative has a chance to enhance its profile as a regional player and bridge-builder, facilitating the response to the COVID-19 by the international community, strengthening the resilience and unity of the Member States. We believe that the CEI Plan of Action for 2021 – 2023 being prepared now should focus largely on overcoming the consequences of this common challenge.

Belarus remains committed to working with other CEI Member States, Secretariat, WHO, European Union, EBRD and all relevant stakeholders in fighting the socio-economic consequences of the corona pandemic.

It is a long battle both in terms of health and economic recovery and we can win it only together.

Thank you.

Belarusian Diplomatic Missions abroad

All Missions Foreign Diplomatic Missions in Belarus
Go to



Official Internet Resources