Navigation

Skiplink Navigation

Main Features

Minsk embassy Swiss upgrade diplomatic representation in Belarus

Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis with Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei

Ignazio Cassis (right) opens the embassy in Minsk with Belarusian counterpart Uladzimir Makej

(Keystone)

Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis has opened a Swiss embassy in the Belarusian capital Minsk. The government decided to upgrade the existing office last May. 

The decision was “testament to the deepening of cooperation between the two countries”, the foreign ministry said in a statementexternal link.

This first official visit of a cabinet minister to Belarus focused on stepping up bilateral relations, strengthening human rights and discussing the situation in the region, in particular the conflict in eastern Ukraine, the ministry said. 

Before the official opening of the embassy on Thursday, Cassis met Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makej for bilateral talks. 

Cassis said Switzerland welcomed the close cooperation with Belarus on human rights and was keen to pursue it further. 

“It is important to make concrete progress in this respect,” he said during his meeting with President Lukashenko. Cassis referred in particular to working together on the prevention of torture: “fruitful discussions” among experts on this topic from the two countries had taken place in Bern and Geneva last autumn, according to the foreign ministry. 

Momentum 

Relations between Switzerland and Belarus have gained momentum since the European Union and Switzerland largely lifted sanctions against Belarus in 2016. 

In 2019 the volume of trade between the two countries amounted to CHF194 million ($198 million) – an increase of over 50% on the previous year. 

With the new embassy in Minsk, the Swiss network of foreign offices now comprises 103 embassies. The upgrading has no financial or personnel consequences, the foreign ministry said.



swissinfo.ch/ts

Neuer Inhalt

Horizontal Line


WEF 2018

WEF Teaser 2018

Why Switzerland struggles with dirty gold

subscription form

Form for signing up for free newsletter.

Sign up for our free newsletters and get the top stories delivered to your inbox.









Click here to see more newsletters