BRUSSELS, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders insisted on the necessity of partnership between the EU and Russia on Friday during a speech at the Brussels Forum.
"We both know that Russia is and must remain a partner whose added value on the diplomatic scene has proven, more than once, very useful," Reynders said.
The Belgian minister said that on all sides, the U.S. and EU, "we are convinced that our partnership with Russia is an absolute necessity."
"Together with Russia, we were able to challenge so many difficulties of this world in transition. Together with Russia, we had to win the peace that followed the end of the Cold War," he added.
However, Reynders also said that in today's world, their message is not well understood by Russia.
A world in transition is a world where exchange of views among nations and all actors have to be multiplied so as to avoid misunderstanding and wrong perceptions, he stressed.
According to the Belgian politician, "in Russia today, NATO is considered by the average citizen as the most dangerous potential enemy".
"Misunderstanding feed potential nationalistic feelings and the reactions and we all know where nationalism leads," he said.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, and celebration is planned in Belgium. "It is more than appropriate to remember those lessons," he added.
Brussels Forum is an annual high-level meeting of the most influential North American and European political, corporate, and intellectual leaders to address pressing challenges currently facing both sides of the Atlantic.
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