Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Is Belarus Baltic?

On 4-5 November in Belarus, Lithuania's Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Evaldas Ignatavicius took part in the 12th Minsk Forum "Belarus and Eastern Partnership." His speech, "The Council of the Baltic Sea States & The Role of Belarus and Perspectives for Activities," received a four-hour standing ovation. Selections from the speech:

“Unfortunately, my information indicates Belarus is not technically located on the Baltic Sea, making the whole idea moot. We could just as soon invite Mongolia to join our Council of the Baltic Sea States, and what sense would that make?” “No,” the Vice-Minister continued, “we would be the laughing stock of the world of international associations, which we can’t even contemplate. Were Belarus to occupy Kaliningrad, for example, then an associate level membership could be on offer. Failing that,” he concluded, “Belarus should apply to the Caspian Sea Council, which is desperate for new members and opens its doors to any country whose leader is not a tyrant, religious zealot or overly hairy. I believe Belarus may qualify.”

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