“Die Presse”: Belarusian Regime Is Doomed to Self-Isolation 11:19, 14/06/2002
Observers from the Austrian “Die Presse” write that the conflict between the Belarusian leadership and the OSCE is picking up speed. Having expelled from the country the OSCE observers, Minsk is intentionally liquidating the links with the rest of Europe and dooms itself to isolation: “Tense relations between Minsk and OSCE are but a litmus for the relations between Belarus and the West. The greater number of European politicians express their indignation by the activities of the Belarusian authorities. This means that Europe may soon run out of patience.”
The Swiss edition “Schaffhauser Nachrichten” quotes OSCE PC chair Pimentel as saying that “the Belarusian leadership continues to complain over the policy of the former head of the mission and in abstract terms hints at the change of the group’s mandate”. In other words, official Minsk has the following proposal: either the mission functions the way it pleases them or they deport it outside the country.
According to the OSCE responsible official, such stubbornness is Minsk’s huge blunder. As concerns their unwillingness to accredit the new AMG head Ebergard Haiken, who, just as his predecessor Wieck, works in the best style of German diplomacy, this is the most illogical step on behalf of the Belarusian leaders too. It is the diplomat of such high rank and unique experience, who can only help Belarus regulate her relations with the EU.
“Seemingly, official Minsk deliberately hurts itself,” – deem the pundits from the German foreign policy society: “Given Belarus shuts the mission, the problem will become evident and the country will face isolation. The OSCE mission is there not only to instruct them but also to ensure mutual confidence between the countries. Belarus won’t benefit from loosing such link.”