"For a Democratic Belarus" group set up in Lithuanian Seimas 12:06, 10/12/2004
A parliamentary group named, “For a Democratic Belarus” has been set up in the Lithuanian Seimas. The group, the establishment of which was initiated by Conservative MP Rasa Jukneviciene, currently unites some 20 lawmakers, Arvydas Zilinskas, spokesman for the Seimas chairman, told BelaPAN.
In an interview with the Belarusian Service of RFE/RL, Mrs. Jukneviciene said that the charter of the Seimas provides for the possibility for members to unite into working groups on the basis of common views on certain matters. The main purpose of the For a Democratic Belarus group is to promote contacts and cooperation between the peoples of Belarus and Lithuania in order “not to isolate the Belarusians, as the international sanctions that Lithuania has joined only apply to officialdom, not the people of the country.”
On November 25, Seimas members proposed establishing a forum that would unite the two countries’ lawmakers and representatives of the Belarusian opposition.
On December 1, Seimas Chairman Arturas Paulauskas told a group of Belarusian reporters that the new Belarusian legislature does not reflect the opinion of the people, and that the Lithuanian parliament will not cooperate with it unless it becomes democratically orientated.