Sergei Kalyakin: EU is waiting for the release of political prisoners
"In my opinion, this is not the intention, but it is actually the decision", chairman of "A Just World" Party Sergei Kalyakin commented on Thursday's statement by President Alexander Lukashenko.
As UDF.BY reported earlier, on Thursday, talking about a possible return to Minsk of the EU countries' ambassadors, Lukashenko said the Belarusian authorities are not against this, but the question will be considered individually for each of the diplomat.
"We've agreed with the Foreign Minister that each country and each ambassador will be considered individually in terms of return to Belarus. But this has nothing to do with the fact that we want to prevent the return of the ambassadors", interfax.by quotes the president. He added, the ambassadors were not driven out from Minsk.
"It was their will, they left, carrying a diplomatic, political move. They made some move, which at that time is detrimental to our foreign ministry, at least, and our state as a maximum. We calmly reacted to it", Lukashenko said. "And to come back - that's we'll see how they will return to Belarus. But to say that we will not let them, too, we should not. Do we need to talk to someone? We do need".
According to Sergei Kalyakin, "the official EU position is that the existence of political prisoners in Belarus is a complete brake in all aspects of relations with the EU".
"And as long as there are political prisoners in Belarus, no other [relations] can be discussed. This is the official EU position, which, to my knowledge, has not changed. Therefore, release of political prisoners - partly, all of them - can give rise to the normalization of relations", the politician said in an interview to UDF.BY.
According to him, "the return of ambassadors is not the subject of dispute".
"Nobody drove the ambassadors, Belarus didn't break off the diplomatic relations. European ambassadors could return any day - and Lukashenko said we will not obstruct the return of ambassadors. Ambassadors Return is it the EU's business, rather than that of the Belarusian side.
Another thing is that the release of political prisoners will increase the chances of Minsk on the normalization of relations with the EU, U.S. West", the chairman of "A Just World" said.
We remind, on 27 February, the Council of EU foreign ministers agreed to expand the list of Belarusian officials, banned entry to the EU. In response to it, on February 28 Belarusian authorities have recommended that the head of EU Mission Maire Mora and the Ambassador of Poland Leszek Sherepka "to go to their capitals for consultations to bring to their leadership the firm position of the Belarusian side about the unacceptability of pressure and sanctions". In a sign of solidarity, all EU countries withdrew their ambassadors from Minsk.