The Estonian Foreign Ministry has allocated €100 thousand to support civil society in Belarus.
According to ambassador of Estonia to Belarus Jaak Lensment, this amount is pretty small, but can do many useful things when used properly. In his words, Estonia will also offer programs to train students who can’t get education in Belarus, and will continue to support YSU.
Jaak Lensment notes that €100 thousand will be used to "support civil society, development of democratic institutions, strengthening the idea of human rights." "These problems can’t exist without separately. And the fact that we sped resources on education means that we have the same goals: to support civil society," said Ambassador of Estonia, informs the Belarusian service of Radio Liberty.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, Estonia's bilateral assistance is concentrated on six states of the EU Neighbourhood Policy (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus) as well as Afghanistan. The choice of the partner countries is caused, primarily, by "the specific needs of these countries and additional values of democracy, in the development of which Estonia can offer some assistance," reads the report of the Estonian Foreign Ministry.
"Assistance programs have previously existed, but now their number has increased. We now have almost twice more money for such projects than ever before," said Jaak Lensment.
An example of such assistance is the work of the Centre "Eastern Partnership," which is valid from January 2012. The center trains representatives of the "Eastern Partnership" in the EU, including the Belarusian officials.
According to Jaak Lensment, the assistance program for Belarus in 2012 was planned last year; this aid is formed on the basis of the state budget size, while the approval of amounts requires a lot of time. Funds for cooperation and humanitarian aid are allocated from the budgets of the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Finance of Estonia.