Updated at 16:11,02-12-2016

Vintsuk Vyachorka: returning status of a special guest for Belarus is violation of principles of Council of Europe

Vintsuk Vyachorka, deputy head of the Belarusian Popular Front, commented on the recommendations of the political committee of the parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on returning a status of special guest to Belarus.

"When visiting Belarus this winter, Andrea Rigoni gave a rather adequate estimation of the situation in Belarus during the so called probation period. He expressed a proposal of the PACE political affairs committee – to invite for negotiations a mixed group, consisting of representatives of the authorities and the democratic forces. We supported this proposal as we thing these negotiations are necessary. But this offer was rejected by the authorities. I don’t understand what has happened during this time that has made Andrea Rigoni change this rather balanced decision," Vintsuk Vyachorka told in an interview to Radio Svaboda.

He reminded that the democratic forces have a document setting up principles of the road map for returning Belarus to the Council of Europe.

"The document offers starting conditions and conditions. A country that a priory doesn’t meet criteria of membership in the Council of Europe can’t receive any status in the Council of Europe. There must be movement towards these criteria and adhering to them. We don’t see this. I think it is violation of the principles of the Council f Europe in a certain sense," the politician emphasized.

It should be reminded that the political affairs committee discussed a report on the situation in Belarus by Andrea Rigoni in the Council of Europe Office in Paris today. The rapporteur offered to give Belarus a status of a special guest allowing the members of the Belarusian "parliament" to take part in PACE activities.

The report was adopted by single vote without any amendments.

Though the political affairs committee approved the report, a final decision on giving this status to Belarus will be taken a PACE session scheduled for late June.