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January 15 – January 21, 2024
Belarus-West relations

The Belarusian regime is proposing cooperation in agriculture to the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM)

The situation has not changed
The Belarusian regime is proposing cooperation in agriculture to the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM)
Скриншот: БелТА

Amid escalating tensions with the West, Belarus is stepping up its involvement in the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), alongside engagements with BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). The NAM is seen as a strategic avenue to secure political support from nations in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, forming what is referred to as the “far arc.” Beyond political motives, Minsk also holds a practical interest in leveraging this platform to foster collaboration, particularly in agriculture and food security, with regions worldwide.

Belarusian Foreign Minister Sergei Aleynik took part in the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Uganda, aiming to address global challenges and enhance cooperation among participating nations. During the forum’s plenary session, Aleynik not only spoke in his national capacity but also represented a group of European NAM countries. He also engaged in a meeting of the Group of Friends for the Defense of the UN Charter and held bilateral discussions with counterparts from Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Before the NAM summit, the Foreign Ministries of Belarus and Russia discussed collaboration within BRICS and with Latin American nations. They also synchronized their approaches to the current state and future prospects of relations with the Latin American region. Joint initiatives for Latin American countries were outlined, and discussions touched upon Belarus’s involvement in events related to BRICS, particularly during the Russian Federation’s chairmanship.

On the sidelines of the summit, Aleynik conducted several bilateral meetings with representatives from African and Asian countries. These discussions focused on exploring prospects for collaboration in agriculture, food security, and healthcare. Belarus perceives Africa as undergoing a reevaluation of its geopolitical stance, gradually distancing itself from Western influence. However, Belarus faces significant competition in its cooperation with Africa, given “ongoing economic exploitation by Western countries”. The anticipated economic potential, resources, labor, and technology in Africa motivate Belarus to cultivate multifaceted cooperation with African nations.

Belarus is optimistic about finalizing a bilateral agreement in the field of agriculture with Saudi Arabia. Plans for cooperation encompass various sectors, including industry, agriculture, and scientific, technical, and innovative development.

During a meeting with Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud in early January, Foreign Minister Aleynik discussed a broad spectrum of issues related to political dialogue and bilateral trade and economic relations. The resumption of the bilateral committee on trade and economic cooperation is highlighted as a priority.

Additionally, Belarus intends to conclude the process of joining the SCO, having completed the domestic ratification of the accession documents. The Belarusian Foreign Ministry anticipates the country’s full membership in the SCO to be finalized next year.

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