EU to offer Lukashenka another last chance?

On Thursday Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Radoslaw Sikorski and the EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Stefan Füle, met with the representatives of the Belarusian opposition.

„We have talked about the chance that Belarusian authorities and Lukashenka still have – to start a dialogue with Europe. Lukashenka can still go down in Belarusian history not as a dictator, but as a good man.” – said Uladzimir Niaklayev during the press conference.

Uladzimir Niaklayev – a leader of the “Say the Truth” movement, Vital Rymashevsky from Christian Democratic party, Siarhey Kaliankin from the leftist party Just World and Aleksander Milinkievich from the “For Liberty” movement represented Belarusian dissidents at the meeting. Also, yesterday the leaders of major political opposition groups signed an agreement on conducting free and fair elections in Belarus. They also announced their will to cooperate. Sikorski and Füle praised the efforts to unite the Belarusian opposition. “Europe is ready to support Belarus on her path to democracy. But the main condition necessary to begin a dialogue is a release of all the political prisoners. After that we can start the conversation about the full democratization of Belarus. We are already thinking about the reforms that free Belarus will have to conduct to have close ties with Europe” – informed Sikorski.

– Europe should have a dialogue with Belarusian authorities, but it should be conditioned on releasing all the political prisoners. Without that, no negotiations should be started with the Belarusian dictator. And it’s good that both Europe and the opposition agree on it. – Andrey Fiodarov, a political scientist commented.

According to a former presidential candidate, Vital Rymashevsky, Europe has to take a firm stance in her contacts with Belarusian authorities. – No one will play games of Belarusian authorities from before the December 19th, 2010. We reached an agreement on a common approach in that case. We were promised that until political prisoners are released, no negotiations will be conducted – said Rymashevsky.


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