Updated at 15:34,14-12-2017

Poll: 45 percent of Belarusians want rapprochement with EU

By Andrey Serada, BelaPAN

Decembers poll by the Vilnius-based Independent Institute of Social, Economic and Political Studies (IISEPS) indicates that nearly 45 percent of the residents of Belarus want rapprochement with the European Union.

Speaking about the November 2013 Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius, which saw Moldova and Georgia sign free trade agreements with the European Union while Belarus was sidelined because of democracy and human rights problems, 44.5 percent of those interviewed said that Minsk should also change its policy regarding the European Union and seek rapprochement with the bloc, the IISEPS said. Only 21.7 percent of the respondents expressed the opposite opinion, while 26.6 percent said that they did not care.

Commenting on a recent remark by Polish Ambassador Leszek Szerepka that his country was ready to not only lower visa fees for the Belarusians but even abolish the visa requirement if the Belarusian government signed visa facilitation and readmission agreements with the EU, 54.5 percent said that Minsk should sign the agreements, 16.8 percent that it should not, and 24.6 percent said that they did not care.