Ashton: The choice is with Belarus
15:04, — Politics
The European Union is ready to react to positive and negative developments in Belarus.
This remark was made by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, at a press conference following the meeting of the EU Foreign Ministers on October 15, BelaPAN news agency reports.
“We are ready to support any positive developments, but also react to any further deterioration. We reiterate again that the choice is with the authorities of Belarus,” she said.
Ashton noted the EU foreign ministers had discussed on Monday the outcome of the Belarusian parliamentary elections. “The parliamentary elections in Belarus were yet another missed opportunity to conduct elections in line with international standards,” Ashton said. “We are very concerned about increased acts of harassment and repression of civil society and political opposition as well as a diplomatic crisis with Sweden.”
Speaking about the EU-Belarus bilateral relations, Ashton said they remained conditional on progress on human rights, democracy and the rule of law. “Until then, our policy remains unchanged,” Ashton said. “So we prolonged the restrictive measures for another year. We want to see the release and rehabilitation of all political prisoners before our policy can be positively reassessed.”