23 May 2019, Thursday, 17:42
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Elisabeth Schroedter: “No concessions”

“Belarusian authorities will have no concessions, unless violating of human rights is stopped in the country. It’s not enough for Lukashenka to release some political prisoners, bargaining with us,” MEP Elisabeth Schroedter said in the interview to Deutsche Welle about the resolution on Belarus adopted on 21 February.

How can you appreciate the document adopted? In your view, what is the main thing in this resolution?

– It’s important we have raised the Belarusian question and put it on the agenda. The resolution itself is a very specific document that draws up clearly the problems existing in Belarus. I find it important that the resolution is not only up-to-date, but also aimed at the future. For example, the coming parliamentary election is mentioned in it, as well as recent release of Belarusian political prisoners and permission to open the European Commission office in Minsk. Besides, the document recites the steps the Belarusian government should take to begin a dialog with the West.

The Belarusian issue was regularly raised in the European Parliament in 2006, especially after the presidential election in Belarus. The members of the EP have begun to speak about Belarus again after a break. What is the reason?

– No, the fact Belarus was forgotten by Europe for a while is false. We have been paying careful attention to the country, the EP tried to make up an alternative action plan for Belarus. In 2007 we determined steps Belarus should take to come back to the democratic development. It means we have been making attempts to begin a dialog, have been giving recommendations.

So, the resolution is adopted. What concrete steps can be expected from the European Commission in the frames of this document?

– It was important for me to stress, the Belarusian authorities will have no concessions, unless the violating of human rights is stopped in the country. For the Belarusian people to understand our position, it’s not enough for Lukashenka to release some political prisoners, bargaining with us. We insist on fulfilling our conditions. It’s very important for the Belarusian people to understand the fact, the EU activity isn’t directed against Belarusians and there is no dialog or negotiations between the EU and Belarus, because Belarus doesn’t fulfil the EU’s conditions.