New Ambasador of the United Kingom to Belarus Bruce Bucknell believes that the European Union and Belarus must take time to reflect on their relations.
“The EU offers Belarus clear conditions for the improvement of their relations. The release of the political prisoners is crucial: Belarus is located in Europe and we want it to share European values,” he stressed.
Bruce Bucknell pointed out that the EU’s sanctions are not directed against 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 meets the conditions,” he said.
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.
At that, according to the diplomat, the EU sanctions will remain in place until all of Belarus’ political prisoners are freed. “The Belarusian government is well aware of the reasons for these sanctions but the policy has not changed,” the ambassador said.