Updated at 15:34,14-12-2017

Foreign Minister Makey calls for involving Russia in Eastern Partnership activities

By Tanya Korovenkova, BelaPAN

Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makey used his speech in Brussels on Tuesday to call for involving Russia in the European Union`s Eastern Partnership program in an effort to prevent new dividing lines from appearing in Europe, according to the Belarusian foreign ministry`s press office.

Speaking at a meeting of the foreign ministers of EU member states and the Eastern Partnership participating countries, Mr. Makey reportedly emphasized the importance of harmonizing various integration projects.

In addition, the Belarusian minister outlined Minsk`s view of the development of relations with the EU and its participation in the Eastern Partnership, and urged the EU to have different approaches to cooperation with the Eastern Partnership participating countries based on their "needs, interests and integration aspirations."

The ministerial meeting focused on the implementation of the program following last year`s Vilnius Summit and prospects for its further development and possible readjustment in the context of the current situation in the region and the signing by Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine of association agreements with the EU, said the press office.

Under discussion also were preparations for the Fourth Eastern Partnership Summit to be held in Riga on May 22, 2015.

The meeting was also attended by Catherine Ashton, the EU`s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, and Stefan Fule, the EU`s commissioner for enlargement and neighborhood policy.

While in Brussels, Mr. Makey held meetings with officials representing the European External Action Service, the European Commission, and the foreign ministers of some EU member states and Eastern Partnership participating countries to discuss "topical issues and the possibility of expanding Belarusian-European cooperation and bilateral cooperation," said the press office.