November 6 – November 12, 2017
Belarus-West relations

Minsk deepens bilateral relations with European countries, disregarding appeals by international organisations

The situation has gotten better
Minsk deepens bilateral relations with European countries, disregarding appeals by international organisations

Minsk has deepened bilateral relations with some Western states, whereas Brussels and international organizations insist on steps towards reforms and respect for human rights to enhance cooperation with Belarus.

On November 9th-10th, 2017, for the first time since 1993, the Romanian Foreign Minister visited Minsk. This visit has concluded a well-marked development of Romanian-Belarusian relations over the past three years. As Foreign Minister Makei emphasised, “recently, relations between the Republic of Belarus and Romania are characterized by an exceptionally positive dynamics in all directions”. The Minister also stated that “the tangible progress in interactions between Minsk and Brussels has become an effect of changes in approaches to Belarus”. In addition, Makei marked the constructive and pragmatic role of Romania in the Belarusian-European dialogue.

In addition, last week, the IMF mission worked in Belarus. Concluding the mission, Peter Dolman, who led the mission, outlined the main outcomes and recommendations, such as: Belarus should continue to implement the macroeconomic stability policy; the government should carry out more profound reforms of the public sector and at a faster pace, and create conditions for the private sector development; significant support should be provided to the most vulnerable groups during the transition to a more market-oriented path. Earlier, talks over a new loan programme with the IMF were frozen, allegedly because Belarus had found the Fund’s requirements unacceptable.

Simultaneously, the European Union, through head of the projects and programs department of the EU Delegation to Belarus Frederic Kune, once again emphasised that the abolition of the death penalty was one of the key priorities for the European Union in Belarus.

Minsk continues to implement consistently a strategy aiming to improve pragmatic bilateral relations based on mutual interests with some EU member states. That said, regardless of the ongoing dialogue, the European Union and other Western institutions continue to urge Belarus to deepen reforms and respect human rights.

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Once a week, in coordination with a group of prominent Belarusian analysts, we provide analytical commentaries on the most topical and relevant issues, including the behind-the-scenes processes occurring in Belarus. These commentaries are available in Belarusian, Russian, and English.

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