28 May 2024, Tuesday, 19:13
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Will European Union support dictatorship only?

Will European Union support dictatorship only?

Illegitimate “chamber” has ratified framework agreement between the government of Belarus and the Commission of the European Communities. The document has a clause that all the projects are implemented only with the approval of the authorities.

The agreement regulates receiving of technical aid from the EU by Belarus under the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument. Until 2011 the European Commission plans to grant Belarusian authorities millions of Euro for projects in such spheres as state border administration, near-border regions development, ecology, education, energy, standardization.

Yesterday “Radio Svaboda” quoted words of the deputy Foreign Minister of Belarus Syarhei Alejnik who in his speech in the “chamber” turned attention of the “deputies” to the fact that the Belarusian side managed to sign a special additional protocol to the framework agreement.

“In practice that means that means of international technical aid of the EU will be issued to you country to implement only those projects and programs which are approved by the Belarusian government, and which have been recognized as suiting the national interests of Belarus,” deputy foreign minister stated.

Thus, it means that the money of the European Union are to be granted to Lukashenka’s regime, and not to the civil society of the country. Non-governmental organisations would be able to participate in implementation of the abovementioned projects only with the approval of the government, but it is obvious that only institutions subordinated to the state would be preferred. Human rights and democracy issues have been completely ignored while signing this agreement.

“It’s true, the relations of the European Union with the Belarusian authorities invite lots of questions, and there are no answers so far. The civil society and oppositional political parties of Belarus are in favour if the European vector of the country’s development, but when one looks at the Eastern Partnership program, one see that a place for dictator Lukashenka is reserved there. With much effort we prevented his visit to the Eastern Partnership summit in Prague, but there are no guarantees that he won’t go to another such event. The EU programs have also a place for the government, for local authorities, and only some civil forum for NGOs. If it would look simply like a meeting with talks and then we are to part, what for is it needed at all?

There are no mechanisms of influencing receiving resources, no control over that by the civil society. Oppositional political parties do not take part in any thing at all. In this connection lots of questions arose, and I didn’t receive answers to them when about a week ago representatives of the European Commission visited Minsk. It could happen so, that the European Commission would realize all the projects only with the government, and the civil society would stay on the sidelines,” the leader of the United Civil Party Anatol Lyabedzka said to www.charter97.org website.

The leader of the civil campaign “European Belarus” Andrei Sannikov in an interview to www.charter97.org noted that every time when Europeans give up their principles, Lukashenka’s regime acts more and more insolently and aggressively, both inside the country and in the world arena.

“There is a framework for normal relations between Belarus and the European Union, in particular, it is Agreement on partnership and cooperation, which envisages development of relations with the EU in all spheres and directions. Such and agreement was signed with Belarus in mid 1990ies, but then the EU countries suspended ratification of this agreement because of the political situation in Belarus. Today the Belarusian regime is trying to “pull out” at least some programs, but not for development of the economy or the society in general, but to overcome the consequences of the crisis. Regrettably, the European Union consents to sign such agreements in a hope that the Belarusian political situation would change, but today only a naïve person might expect such changes under Lukashenka’s rule.

Europeans are trying to shut their eyes to the top problems of Belarus – political prisoners, human rights, free elections, and that would result simply in deterioration of the Belarusian situation, and finally to further deterioration of relations between Belarus and Europe. We see that every time Europeans go back on their principles, Lukashenka’s regime acts more and more insolently and aggressively, both inside the country and in the world arena. An example to that are recent Belarusian-Russian military exercises, which have been directly aimed against the neighbouring European states. There won’t be any improvement in relations with our country, until Europe returns to its principled position on Belarus,” Andrei Sannikov is convinced.

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