The European Union and Belarus must take time to reflect on their relations, British Ambassador Bruce Bucknell said in an interview with BelaPAN.
According to the ambassador, the EU offers Belarus clear conditions for the improvement of their relations. "The main thing is the release of the political prisoners. Belarus is in Europe and we want to see it share European values," he said.
Mr. Bucknell denied that the European Union’s sanctions targeted the Belarusian people. "Their objective is to change the conduct of the Belarusian government for the benefit of the Belarusian people. The matter of sanctions remains open until Belarus fulfills the conditions," he stressed.
Mr. Bucknell expressed opposition to the introduction of economic sanctions against Belarus, explaining that they would hit ordinary people. The EU pursues a policy that must be agreed upon by all of its 27 member states, and their consensus is that the bloc’s sanctions must target specific individuals, he added.
The EU sanctions will remain in place until all of Belarus’ political prisoners are freed, he warned.
"The Belarusian government knows well the reasons for these sanctions but the policy has not changed," Mr. Bucknell said. "I have already said that we offer clear conditions and the matter remains open until Belarus meets these conditions."