Lukashenka standing chance to represent Belarus at upcoming EaP summit?

A decision on the level of Belarus’ participation in the Eastern Partnership (EaP) in Brussels summit will be made ‘in due time’, Minister of Foreign Affairs Uladzimir Makey said on Tuesday.

“Of course, we will study all circumstances. High-ranking officials of the European Union are expected to visit Belarus in the near future,” state-run news agency BelTA quotes the minister.

According to the diplomat, invitations to the Eastern Partnership summit scheduled for November 24, have been sent to all member states, including Belarus.

The European Union is ready to welcome Belarus president Alyaksandr Lukashenka at the event, RFE/RL reported on Monday with reference to sources in the EU.

The Eastern Partnership is an EU initiative with a stated goal of strengthening relations with its neighbours in Eastern Europe and Southern Caucasus – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. The recent EaP summit of EU and ex-Soviet countries took place in the Latvian capital on May 21-22, 2015.

Uladzimir Makey represented Belarus in Riga. President Alyaksandr Lukashenka never attended the previous summits in Prague, Warsaw and Vilnius. At that time, the Belarusian leader and his sons were on the EU black listfor serious violations of human rights, for the repression of civil society and the democratic opposition or for undermining democracy and the rule of law in Belarus. In February 2016, the sanctions were lifted.

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