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21 Sep, 2020 18:41

Belarus to abandon outreach to West & focus foreign policy on developing relationship with Russia & China – influential senior MP

Belarus to abandon outreach to West & focus foreign policy on developing relationship with Russia & China – influential senior MP

With the world turning against Belarus' administration, the country's multilateral foreign policy is no longer in line with its objectives, according to the chairman of Minsk's parliamentary commission on International Affairs.

Andrei Savinykh believes that the rapidly changing situation in Belarus and the deterioration of the government's relationship with the West means that the country should officially pivot east and focus on improving its ties with Russia, and other Eastern states. 

“From my point of view, today there are already sufficient grounds to assert that a multilateral policy … no longer provides the external conditions we need for the favorable development of Belarus,” Savinykh said.

In his opinion, Belarus' “top priority” should now be “strengthening political, economic and military relations with Russia, within the framework of the Union State.” The MP also noted that the country should focus on its relationships with China, India, Iran, Turkey and Vietnam, to help the country become part of a “Eurasian macroregion.”

The Union State Treaty was signed by Russia and Belarus in 1999, but many of its proposals have not been implemented. According to the agreement's text, the nations planned to create a joint parliament, court and cabinet. Since then, unification has regularly been discussed, including the creation of a shared currency, military and customs space. According to Valery Belsky, a financial aide to Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, the Union State agreement currently provides 25 percent of its GDP.

According to Belarus' Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the country's official policy is “multilateral,” and involves “developing relations with all foreign partners,” including the European Union, which it calls an “objectively important trade partner.”

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