EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Catherine Ashton has represented the EU policy towards Belarus at a meeting of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament. According to her, they had discussed «transition from isolation to collaboration» at the recent summit in Copenhagen on March 11, 2012.
Сatherine Ashton confessed that Europe is often torn between these two approaches. «Sanctions send a very strong political and economic message to the country. And we clearly express our position with regard to Belarus and will keep returning to it,» the Belarusian service of Radio Svaboda (Radio Liberty) quotes her words.
The EU also sends a very clear political message of what the government of Belarus has to do, Catherine Ashton notes. «You have to release these people [political prisoners – Belsat], you have to return them to their families. And it’s very important for us to send this message by saying that even if you do this, there are many things we could work on together,» the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs points out.
«We are sending the same signals. We do this because we want you to change; we want you to tackle these issues. And if you do, then we are here,» Ashton said.