The Minister for Europe, Sir Alan Duncan, has met the Foreign Minister of Belarus, Vladimir Makei.
It is the first visit to the UK by a Belarus Foreign Minister since 1993.
The UK and Belarus have been developing our bilateral relationship since the lifting of EU restrictive measures in February 2016.
The ministers used the visit as an opportunity to discuss increasing trade between the UK and Belarus, share perspectives on regional political and security issues, and Sir Alan encouraged Belarus to undertake further political and economic reform, with an emphasis on human rights and democracy.
Minister for Europe Sir Alan Duncan said:
I was the first British Foreign Office Minister to visit Belarus since Belarus became an independent, sovereign state when I travelled to Minsk in September. Now Foreign Minister Makei has come to London for another historic visit – the first of a Foreign Minister of Belarus for nearly 25 years.
His visit provides a valuable opportunity to make progress on a range of issues from trade to reform to regional security. I am pleased to have discussed a number of issues with FM Makei, and I encouraged Belarus to take further steps to improve political freedoms, including human rights, and economic reform. Some progress has been made in these areas but I believe it is in Belarus’ long term interest to go further.
I also explained to FM Makei the UK’s grave concerns over the Salisbury incident and reminded him that Russia’s actions are of concern to all nations, including their friends and neighbours.