EU-Belarus relations not improving due to political prisoners issue – Mora

The EU’s relations with Belarus were normalizing, but not improving, Maira Mora, Head of EU Delegation, told Latvian information agency LETA.

“Improvements will only be possible when we return to normal contacts and remove the last obstacles in our relations. Belarus has taken a few steps, but these have been very little steps,” Mora said when asked to comment on Latvia’s resolve to achieve progress in the relations between the EU and Belarus.

Commenting on the current obstacles to improvements in relations between the EU and Russia, Mora said that no one should be hurried, and that radical and abrupt changes in the post-Soviet area that has been left outside the EU should not be expected.

“Some political prisoners have been released, some have served their sentences. Belarus is also cooperating more closely with the Council of Europe regarding the abolishment of capital punishment. We have not yet got any further than discussions so far, but this is nevertheless a step in the right direction,” e-zine the Baltic Course quotes Mora with a reference to LETA.

Political prisoners is the main obstacle at the moment, she added. “This is something that we really cannot accept,” she emphasized.

As Belsat reported earlier, in January Maira Mora denied that the release of Belarus` political prisoners is a condtion for EU relaxing visa regime with Belarus. At the same time, Belgian e-media said referring to Latvian diplomats that Belarus might get the first step towards a visa-free regime with the EU if it released political prisoners in time for an Eastern Partnership summit in May.

See also