Updated at 18:07,08-09-2017

Lukashenkos participation in Eastern Partnership Summit in Riga depends on Kremlin

Belarus in focus

At a meeting with Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics, President Lukashenko said that Belarus counted on Latvias assistance in promoting cooperation between Belarus and other EU member states. The Belarusian government expects to unblock relations with European capitals and receive an invitation to participate in the Riga Eastern Partnership Summit in May this year at the highest level - for President Lukashenko. However, official Minsk is not ready to fulfil the basic requirements of the EU to initiate the normalisation process in Belarusian-European relations, i.e. to release the remaining political prisoners. In addition, amid the Kremlins sharply negative attitude to the EUs Eastern Partnership Programme, when deciding on participation in the Riga Summit, Belarus would have to take into account potentially negative reaction from Moscow, which seriously reduces the likelihood of Lukashenkos participation.