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Thursday, 02 May 2019 12:44

Lukashenko: Belarus seeks peaceful amicable relations with Lithuania

Belarus wants to have peaceful amicable relations with Lithuania, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with former Lithuanian president, member of the European Parliament Rolandas Paksas, BelTA has learned.

The head of state welcomed Rolandas Paksas in Belarus noting that Lithuanian politicians do not often come to Minsk to discuss problems in bilateral relations. He noted that Belarus and Lithuania share similar views on some topics but also have their differences on others. However, this is normal for neighboring countries, the president said.

“Since we are neighbors, and you do not choose your neighbors, they are God-given, we need to be good neighbors to each other, whether we like it or not. To live peacefully and amicably (we in Belarus do not see any other way and you know it well), we need to communicate and discuss a variety of topics, starting from the common security in the region (now, as you know, there is a storm in Europe, a strong one, and I hope we can weather this storm). On the other hand, there are local problems, for example, the construction of a nuclear power plant. This topic is very relevant in Lithuania and, we believe, very politicized,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.

The head of state believes that the visit of Rolandas Paksas to Belarus will mark a good start to the discussion of the existing problems. The president also noted that trade and economic relations make up the basis of bilateral cooperation. “Despite political differences, their level is very high. We are always very pleased to use your seaport infrastructure for transshipment of our goods. The terms of work have always been comfortable for us. Many Belarusians visit Lithuania for tourism purposes and we have never put any barriers for Lithuanian visitors,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

The president added that Belarus and Lithuania were once part of one state. The shared historical past should contribute to the development of bilateral relations. “We should look for some good things in the history to rely on. We have a lot of these good things. Let us capitalize on them and build good relations in the future,” the Belarusian leader said.

Rolandas Paksas noted that he had a dream, namely to demilitarize the Baltic Sea region and establish close cooperation between the states.

Last year the member of the European Parliament discussed this issue with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He also plans to hold meetings with the authorities of Germany, the United States and other countries. “I am concerned about the situation in the region. I can see that war hawks (regardless of the side) would like to start a war between the United States and Russia here, in this region. I call for building these relations differently so that the security of the region would be guaranteed through diplomatic forces, not military ones,” he told the media after the meeting with the Belarusian head of state.

Rolandas Paksas is visiting Minsk on his own initiative. He has not paid official visits to Belarus before.

Lithuania is one of Belarus' leading economic partners (ranked eighth in the trade of goods and seventh in the exports). Last year the trade between the two countries exceeded $1.5 billion. Belarus major export items to Lithuania include trucks, timber, oil products, compound fertilizers, electricity and fuelwood. In Belarus there are more than 600 Lithuania-funded companies. About 250 companies with Belarusian investment operate in Lithuania.

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