Representatives of Belarusian opposition organizations have been invited to attend the third session of the EU-Neighbourhood East Parliamentary Assembly (Euronest PA) to be held in Brussels on May 28 and 29.
The Belarusian People’s Front (BPF); the United Civic Party of Belarus (UCPB); Just World (the Belarusian Party of the Left); For Freedom movement, Tell the Truth civil campaign and Belarusian Christian Democracy (BCD) are to send their representatives to the event.
According to BPF leader Aliaksei Yanukevich, all pro-democratic forces share the opinion that Belarus can be represented in the Euronest PA only by members of parliament who will be elected in free and transparent elections.
“Minsk has missed another chance to get such full-fledged representation in Euronest PA after the 2012 parliamentary elections were not free,” Mr. Yanukevich said, adding that members of Belarus’ National Assembly may not take part in Euronest PA sessions until the next parliamentary elections.
He said that opposition representatives would inform the Parliamentary Assembly about the situation in Belarus, including about the need for the release of political prisoners and what the EU could do for Belarus unilaterally. “I mean the simplification of the visa regime, the intensification of contacts between people. Our proposal to Europe is not to play by the rules set by the Belarusian authorities,” the politician said.
“Minsk tells Brussels that it expects some steps from the European Union. In fact the key to the normalization of relations is in Minsk, the preconditions for dialogue have been outlined and remain unchanged,” he noted.
The Euronest PA was expected to consist of 60 members of the European Parliament and a 10-member delegation from each of the six post-Soviet states participating in the European Union’s Eastern Partnership program, namely Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
The Belarusian authorities have rejected a composition formula whereby the country’s delegation to the Euronest PA would include five members of the House of Representatives and five opposition politicians. Belarusian lawmakers are currently not invited to attend Euronest PA sessions.
Belsat, following BelaPAN