Updated at 13:48,15-08-2017

Belarusian ambassador barred from meeting of Euronest PA`s working group in Brussels

Tanya Korovenkova, Naviny.by

The Brussels-based Belarusian ambassador was barred from attending a meeting of the EU-Neighborhood East Parliamentary Assembly (Euronest PA)`s working group on Belarus in the Belgian capital on April 1, said the press office of the United Civic Party (UCP).

The meeting was attended by European Parliament members and a delegation of Belarusian opposition leaders.

Belarusian Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makey had been invited to participate in the meeting but did not attend, choosing to send the ambassador to the event instead, said the press office.

According to Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, a Polish member of the European Parliament who chaired the meeting, the ambassador had not been invited and was barred from the meeting.

Speaking at the meeting, Mr. Saryusz-Wolski stressed that the European Parliament did not recognize Belarus` House of Representatives as a legitimate legislature. He also sounded an alarm over the future of the Eastern Partnership, saying that Russia fiercely opposed the program.

Commenting on the discussion, UCP leader Anatol Lyabedzka said that he had used the meeting to urge the European Union to come up with a single strategy toward relations with Belarus and Ukraine. "Apart from this, it needs to realize that changes are impossible in Belarus without fair and free elections," he said.

Mr. Lyabedzka also urged the EU to put more pressure on the Belarusian authorities to release their imprisoned opponents ahead of this May`s world hockey championship in Minsk.