The Belarusian issue has not been put on the agenda list of the EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting which is to take place today in Luxembourg. But brief exchange of opinion on the current situation in a number of countries (Argentina, Belarus, Congo, Libya, Surinam) is scheduled.
On April 16, 2012 Lithuanian Foreign Minister Audronius Ažubalis intended to propose the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs to speak about release of all political prisoners and their rehabilitation. «I can just repeat: in the same way as we have left together, so we should return, there could be no selection about that, the EU should be united,» he said.
According to human rights defenders, 13 political prisoners still remain behind bars.
European leaders welcomed the release of ex-presidential candidate Andrey Sannikau and his aide Zmitser Bandarenka. But EU High Representative for foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Füle and EP President Martin Schulz tempered their statements with demands that Minsk release other dissenters and respect their rights.
On April 21, 2012, in the course of the national subbotnik [work-for-the-nation day – Belsat] Aliaksandr Lukashenka told journalists that Sannikau and Bandarenka’s release had not been a concession under the pressure from the EU. «One more attempt to press – and those blabbers [Sannikau and Bandarenka – Belsat] who were freed and must be grateful for such a treatment, might well go back to prison,» Lukashenka warned.