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Minsk Seeks 'Normalization Of Ties' With EU

Belarusian Foreign Minister Uladzimer Makey (left) with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini in Brussels late last year.

Belarusian Foreign Minister Uladzimer Makey says his country wants "to normalize ties" with the European Union.

Makey said after talks in Minsk with his Polish counterpart, Witold Waszczykowski, on March 22 that Belarus plans "to diversify its foreign political and economic activities."

Makey added that boosting ties with Poland and other EU countries would occur while preserving relations with Russia, which he called Minsk's "major partner."

Last month, the EU ended five years of sanctions against Belarus and the country's longtime president, Alyaksandr Lukashenka, praising Belarusian authorities for their release of political prisoners in August and for Minsk's role in hosting international talks on curtailing the fighting in eastern Ukraine.

Based on reporting by Belapan and Interfax