Belarusian FM: «EU ambassadors may return»

The EU policy of sanctions against Belarus is inefficient, Foreign Minister Siarhei Martynau said in an interview to Belarus-1 TV Channel on April 8, 2012.

«The policy of sanctions pursued by the European Union has no prospects. And that is not because our country does not like the policy of pressure. This is simply because it is hopeless,» state news agency Belta quotes the minister.

Siarhei Martynau proposed the Belarusian side’s solution of the diplomatic row.

«Belarus says: Do you want your ambassadors to come back? We don’t mind. But of course, we wouldn’t like them to be involved in any backroom deals that harm our relations,» he said.

According to Siarhei Martynau, European ambassadors may return if the European Union does not impose new sanctions towards Belarus.

«If ambassadors return and the European Union introduces another series of sanctions in a few days, it will not be serious, to put it mildly,» he pointed out.

In the minister’s opinion, the EU policy of sanctions against Belarus shows double standards and approaches. If not for the tough sanctions imposed by the European Union on the country Belarus would have made a lot on its path to reforms and improvement, he stated.

On February 27, 2012 EU Foreign Affairs ministers agreed an assets freeze and visa ban against 19 magistrates and two highly placed police officers who are suspected of stifling Belarus’ political opposition.

In response, Head of the EU delegation to Belarus Majra Mora and Leszek Szerepka, the Polish Ambassador to Belarus, were invited to the Belarusian MFA. In the statement published on the MFA’s web site, Press-Secretary Andrey Savinykh attacked the policy of sanctions and declares: «Head of the EU Delegation to the Republic of Belarus and Ambassador of Poland to Belarus have also received the recommendations to return to their capitals for consultations and to convey to their leadership a firm position of the Belarusian Side on inadmissibility of pressure and sanctions.»

In their turn, EU member countries’ ambassadors in Minsk were withdrawn in solidarity.The decision was made at a meeting of EU ambassadors, where they also decided that countries where Belarus had an ambassador would call these in to issue a formal protest.


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