US Committee on NATO Believes Belarus is Integrating into Europe Faster than Russia

The integration of Belarus into the European community 'will happen very fast and will take much less time than the integration of Russia,' said President of the US Committee on NATO Bruce Jackson on Wednesday, December 4, at a meeting with journalists in Minsk, according to a Rosbalt correspondent. Mr Jackson is leading the American delegation in Minsk December 1-4 at the presentation of the geopolitical survey 'Europe after Prague.'

'Belarus has a European culture and European traditions and in a sense it is a perfectly normal European country,' Mr Jackson announced. However he also feels that the country must also develop as a democracy before it is able to integrate fully. 'It is time for Belarus to carry out reforms and change its attitudes to some of its neighbours,' said Mr Jackson.

The president of the US committee on NATO believes that Belarus' current international reputation is jeopardizing the country itself. 'This is the only country in Europe where for decades there have been murders and journalists and political activists have disappeared,' he emphasised. Mr Jackson added that both the Belarussian foreign minister and the minister of defense, who he met during his visit to Minsk, understand this fact. According to the US representative Belarussian Foreign Minister Mikhail Khvostov expressed Belarus' willingness to take part in talks with the international community.

The press office of the Belarussian foreign ministry, commenting on Mr Khvostov and Mr Jackson's meeting, said that 'they discussed Belarus and NATO relations.'

The US committee on NATO is a non-commercial organization, which was founded in 1996 to assist with NATO expansion and develop US-Europe relations.

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