Updated at 14:52,24-02-2021

EU makes conditions to Belarus: democratization or sanctions


Talks of Belarusian Foreign Minister Syarhei Martynau with the EU officials have taken place in Brussels. The European Union said the country hasn’t done enough to reform itself and protect human rights.

The Belarusian Foreign Minister met with Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union Javier Solana, and EU External Relations and Neighbourhood Policy Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner.

European Commissioner Benita Ferrero–Waldner stated on July 28 after the meeting of Belarusian Foreign Minister Syarhei Martynau with the EU Troika in Brussels that potential of the relations between Belarus and the EU would be used to the full if essential convincing and irreversible reforms would be made, and great progress would be observed by November.

The Belarusian agency BelaPAN quotes the text of the press-conference published at the website of the Council of the European Union.

The European Commissioner noted that in their relations the EU and Belarus have come to the crossroads, and it is in general interest to give a fresh impetus to them. As said by her, in September the EU is to study at different levels the progress of Minsk in democratization in 5 key areas, and the issue of visa sanctions would be studied by the heads of Foreign Ministers of the EU counties in November.

The EU is ready to offer assistance to Belarus, if serious movement towards democracy and fundamental rights and freedoms would be demonstrated, the European Commissioner noted. Thus, Belarus which is actively taking part in development of the Eastern Partnership platforms’ elaboration, would be able to cooperate with the EU on bilateral basis.

Benita Ferrero–Waldner has underlined that Brussels had met the needs of the country in 2009, increasing the assistance twice, from 5 to 10 mio Euro. Now the European Commission considers the possibility to grant macro-economic financial assistance to Belarus, and a possibility to be given credits in the European bank of reconstruction and development and the European Investment bank in the future.

The European Commissioner said that the EU can offer a lot to Belarus in different spheres, in particular in the sphere of macro-economy, energy, trade, facilitation of visa regime.

At the press-conference the head of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry had to answer the question about a possible recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia by Minsk, ITAR-TASS informs.

"The situation around South Ossetia and Abkhazia is a difficult issue for everyone. We continue to consider it," Martynau said.

In his turn, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said that at the meeting the political situation in Belarus had been discussed. "The political situation in Belarus does not meet the expectations that we have." In particular, the situation with human rights, limitation of political freedoms, problems of registration and functioning of civil society organisations, political parties, and death penalty in Belarus were discussed.

Mr Bildt noted that the sides studied possibilities for development of bilateral relations and coordinating the macro-economic assistance for overcoming the economic crisis effects. Cooperation in the energy sector, in the framework of the Eastern Partnership and certain regional issues have been discussed as well.

As said by the head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry, "we believe that the Belarusian authorities can and indeed should do more" for strengthening the relations with the EU.