Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko says his country’s response to sanctions is to deepen relations with the BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). “The creation of a comprehensive economic union remains our priority,” he emphasized. “There should be no barriers and no restrictions at all. This is a basic principle for building our union, and we must reach this target as soon as possible.”
Belarus Prioritizes Building Economic Union With ‘No Barriers and No Restrictions at All’
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko outlined his country’s priorities and response to sanctions during the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council meeting in Moscow on Thursday. The meeting was chaired by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Lukashenko explained that Belarus’ response to sanctions is to strengthen cooperation within major multinational organizations, such as the BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The BRICS economic bloc comprises Brazil, China, India, Russia, and South Africa. The Belarus leader said (translated by Google):
Our response to the sanctions pressure is to intensify cooperation within the SCO, BRICS, and ASEAN, to close new trade agreements, and [engage in] constructive and mutually beneficial cooperation with everybody who is interested in being our friends and partners.
“Having said that, I want to note that as a result, we must ensure the balance of interests between all the parties involved. It is not an easy task but I am confident that the commission has the skills and competence required,” he added.
Lukashenko continued: “The modern world is undergoing global changes and entering an era of major transition and strategic development. There is increasing awareness of the need to replace the unipolar system of management with new decision-making centers that ensure the consideration of interests of all participants in international relations.” He stressed:
The creation of a comprehensive economic union remains our priority … There should be no barriers and no restrictions at all. This is a basic principle for building our union, and we must reach this target as soon as possible.
“Colleagues, I believe that, by taking joint efforts, we can fully realize the potential of this union internally and externally, thus creating one of the full-weight responsible centers of the new multipolar world,” the Belarus leader concluded.
The Belarusian leader also spoke at the Eurasian Economic Forum in Moscow Wednesday. “Financial, pandemic, [and] geopolitical crises are replacing each other so quickly that people simply do not have time to take a breath and lose confidence in the future,” Lukashenko opined, elaborating:
The world has been recently living in a constant state of tension and uncertainty. This is also natural in the transition period from the old era to the new one, to which we aspire and whose name is multipolarity.
While noting that in extraordinary circumstances, a stable economy serves as a strong foundation, he emphasized that in today’s interconnected world with transparent economic borders and intertwined trade relations, it becomes nearly impossible for any nation to achieve economic stability on its own. He added that consequently, countries are increasingly motivated to seek membership in influential regional and international organizations, such as the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), SCO, BRICS, and ASEAN.
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