The authorities want not to have a dialogue, but dictate terms.
Political prisoner Pavel Sevyarynets talks to charter97.org about the EU's appeal to the Belarusian government for a more active participation in the dialogue on modernisation.
"All talks about the dialogue are really worthy and right, but they have had no sense in the recent few years. They crash against the concrete wall of the regime. The authorities want not to have a dialogue, but dictate terms. That is why the Belarusian regime is called a dictatorship," the political prisoner noted.
He added the current "dialogue" is initiating criminal cases, prosecution of dissidents and ill-treatment of political prisoners.
"Europe offers to begin talks. Sometimes it works, like it was in Vienna recently. But it was rather an exchange of thoughts than a dialogue. Lukashenka uses it as 'export goods' and a tool to blackmail the Kremlin. That's how it looks: 'Give us money, or we will become friends with the European Union.' The Belarusian regime has been playing this game long ago. Everyone knows it. It's difficult for the Europeans to decide the question of imposing sanctions due to their mentality and economic interests. The EU cannot take a tough stance like the US, which imposes sanctions before holding negotiations. On the whole, everything depends on us. Belarusians must rely only on themselves and solve this problem," Pavel said.
We remind that Štefan Füle, the European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, met with eight representatives of Belarus in Brussels on February 20 to discuss issues on modernisation of the Belarusian society.
The EU called on the Belarusian authorities to expand the country's participation in the dialogue on modernisation between the EU and representatives of the Belarusian civil society.