Updated at 11:50,16-10-2017

Makei: No changes in relations with West after Bialiatski's release

Euroradio

Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makei tells Belarus state TV there will be no changes in relations between Belarus and EU after Ales Bialiatski's release.

The interview with Belarus 1 state TV channel was broadcast in the evening of June 29. “We are realistically looking at the situation and we know that even if we released those whom they describe as "political prisoners", Belarus would again face new claims tomorrow. For instance, why are same-sex marriages not registered in Belarus? We would be questioned why our children call their parents as "mom" and "dad" instead of calling them "parent No1" and "parent No 2" as required in Europe, " Belapan news agency quotes Mr Makei as saying.

According to Mr Makei, Belarus stands for equitable relations with all nations, for a dialogue with the European Union and United States. It will continue to adhere to this position in the future. “We believe it is not some superpower that should tell the peoples of Latin America, Africa, South East Asia or Europe how to develop. It is the people that take responsibiity for the fate of their nation. We stand for diversity of progressive development and not for a unipolar development of te world,” said Uladzimir Makei.

Prominent human rights defender and political prisoner was set free in a surprise release on June after spending 3 years out of his 4.5 prison term.