First steps must be taken by Belarusian authorities 12:09, 21/09/2007
“We consider that first steps for improving relations must be taken by Belarus”, declared senior advisor Secretary-General of the Council of the EU Pirkko Tapiola to Belarusian journalists at the press conference 20 September.” Our policy is aimed at establishing closer relationship between the European Union and Belarus “, he said. The European policymaker also stressed that for” the future of Europe Belarus is a very important country”.
P.Tapiola remarked that the European Union is interested in the joint work with Belarus in the sphere of energy, transport and other fields. “But the full- value cooperation with Belarus is possible after the concrete actions of Belarus taken for its democratization, freedom of press and honest elections”, he declared. According to Pirkko Tapiola in last April and May the EU noticed” several positive steps”. ”Some political prisoners were freed though at the end of their imprisonment term”. Among the positive steps he also mentioned the opening of the Eurocommission representative office in Minsk. The EU Council representative also stressed”The agreement on opening of the representative office does not mean changing of the European Union policy regarding Belarus. But it increases opportunities for the joint work and better mutual understanding”.
Pirkko Tapiola declared that policy of the EU is not only the policy for isolation of Belarus. He also disapproved the blaming of the Belarusian authorities of his supposed support rendered to certain opposition representatives. ”We do not support any particular persons but we second the idea of democracy and the right of existence for the opposition” Pirkko Tapiola declared according to the BelaPAN.