Updated at 16:11,02-12-2016

Polish FM Sikorski: Lukashenka should borrow practices and funds from one source

Alyaksandr Lukashenka should borrow practices and money from one source, either the West or the East, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said at the Eastern Partnership Summit that began in Warsaw on Thursday.

To stay in power, the Belarusian leader borrows his practices from the East while taking funds from the West, but the European Union cannot accept this and will insist that he should choose one source for both, the minister stressed.

Mr. Sikorski said that he and German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle had met with Mr. Lukashenka ahead of last December’s presidential election in Belarus to offer the bloc’s financial assistance in exchange for a fair election and steps toward closer cooperation with the EU.

But Mr. Lukashenka failed to keep his word and rigged the election, the minister said, noting that he did not know anyone, including among high-ranking Russian officials, who believed that Mr. Lukashenka had received 80 percent of the vote as claimed by the country’s election authorities.

Poland views the Belarusian nation as a European nation, said Mr. Sikorski.

He said that the Belarusian opposition was the EU`s partner, expressing hope that prisons in Belarus one day would house only criminals and would not be used to clamp down on opposition activists.