Official Minsk Beheads OSCE Mission 11:20, 19/04/2002
An article under such heading appeared yesterday in the Berlin newspaper “Die Tageszeitung”. The newspaper writes that the Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko, seeking to rid himself of the OSCE observers’ presence, is gradually progressing in his aspirations. Recently, they almost beheaded the OSCE mission in Minsk by denying prolongation of visa to the acting OSCE chair Michele Rivalier. Therefore, writes “Die Tageszeitung”, a series of verbal abuses and threats against the European structures by the Belarusian regime continues.
It needs special mention that in 1998 the mission started operating in Minsk upon the preliminary full consent of the Belarusian authorities. Later, at the Stockholm summit Lukashenko signed the four OSCE conditions, as the basis around which his country’s relations with OSCE would be built.
However, in reality things are taking different shape – head of the OSCE mission in Minsk Hans-Georg Wick became target of the Belarusian president’s attacks. More than just once the Belarusian leader threatened the ambassador with banishment, accusing him of masterminding a military coup in Belarus. Following Mr.Wieck’s departure from Belarus, the OSCE had to operate in Minsk in a limited format – in course of the four months the Belarusian authorities denied accreditation to the new AMG chair Ebergard Haiken.
“TAZ” quotes chairwoman of the OSCE working group, Bundestag deputy Uta Tsapf as saying that the improvement of relations between Belarus and the West sounds less and less realistic.
Meantime, notes “TAZ”, the EU leadership underscores that cooperation between Belarus and Europe can’t but involve the OSCE.