European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fule met with representatives of the Belarusian opposition in Brussels on November 29. As told in the civil campaign "Tell the Truth!", Stefan Fule voiced his principled position on Belarus and its leadership during the meeting. "The EU stands ready to extend visa bans, but won't impose economic sanctions," he said.
The meeting was held within the framework of the Parliamentary Assembly of the EU "Eastern Partnership" (Euronest).
Stefan Fule also said that "the Lukashenko regime has naturally come up to its decline, and therefore one should think about the place of Belarus in the EU today, not tomorrow." He noted that the Belarusian issue can't be solved by means of Moscow solely. The European Union is aware of that, he added.
European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy also drew attention to the fact that "the EU deems it important to strengthen the unity of opposition, as well as to make an alternative government possible in Belarus."
Fule: the EU is ready to facilitate the implementation of reforms in Belarus
"The EU is also ready to promote reforms in Belarus", Stefan Fule said. "Not only financial assistance is in question but also new technologies Belarus needs so badly, as Russia only postpones the collapse of non-upgraded Belarusian economy with its proposals."
At the same time, Stefan Fule said that "the EU invites the representatives of both opposition and nomenclature to negotiate over the future of Belarus, provided they realize that the country needs changes, which can't be provided by Russia with its orientation toward the raw material economy."
The meeting with participation of Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Sergei Rumas is scheduled for December 7, Stefan Fule said. "But it does not mean that the EU agrees to cooperate with the Belarusian State, while it's still violating human rights, encouraging politically-motivated repression, restricting freedom of speech, assembly and an independent court," he said.
In addition, Stefan Fule noted that the EU needed "no gray schemes" behind the civil society. "The same goes for privatization: the opaque sale of the assets can't be considered legitimate," he concluded.
Germany, as well as the whole European Union, is extremely concerned about the situation in Belarus. Neither Berlin nor Brussels knows how to influence the developments in the country. "Economic sanctions against Belarus are a gift to Putin," reported a source in the German government.
According to him, the imposition of economic sanctions by the West will encourage the Belarusian authorities towards closer integration with Russia. Furthermore, the EU fears that economic sanctions may easily affect the Belarusians, not related to the regime of Alexander Lukashenko.