The meeting between EU Commissioner Stefan Fule and Belarusian opposition leaders lasted until midnight.
On July 8, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Fule had a meeting with leader of European Belarus civil campaign Andrei Sannikov, chairman of Fair World party Syarhei Kalyakin, deputy head of the United Civil party Yaraslau Ramanchuk, former political prisoner Alyaksandr Kazulin, leader of Tell the Truth campaign Uladzimir Nyaklyaeu, chairman of the BPF party Ales Yanukevich, leader of the For Freedom movement Alyaksandr Milinkevich, co-head of the Belarusian Christian Democracy party Vital Rymasheuski.
“We are cautiously optimistic to say that the European Union makes another serious attempt to get things moving. This time, they seem to take into account their previous failures. Stefan Fule knows well the situation in the region, he lived under the totalitarian rule, so he needn’t to be explained many things. The EU is to take a decision on its further policy towards Belarus in September or October, so the visit was organized in this connection. The decision will be essential for us because it will come in the run-up to the presidential campaign,” Andrei Sannikov said after the meeting.
As the past events show, Lukashenka won’t make any concessions ahead of the elections, the European Belarus leader notes.
“The European Union should understand this and base its decisions on the need to defend the principles allowing Belarus to become a democratic state. It is clear that the authorities will bargain with the UE they will try to gain the Union’s support in the conflict with the Russian leadership. They will say the conflict is not the result of bankruptcy of Lukashenka’s policy, but “protection of independence” of Belarus. They will persuade Europe repression have been relaxed in the country. We said we were concerned about such plans of the authorities and hope we were heard,” Sannikov said.
The NTV film “Godbatka” about abduction and killing of oppositionists in Belarus was also discussed at the meeting.
“We were interested to see the reaction of Europe to the information in the film. We have convinced Europe noticed the film. We had a long conversation about political prisoners and political repressions,” Sannikov said.
According to the politician, it was interesting that Stefan Fule turned his attention to the model of Ukraine’s relations with Russia and the EU.
“Good relations with Russia and the European Union conflict with each other as the EU and Moscow have different offers and the state can gain by that, Commissioner Fule thinks. This model doesn’t provoke Russia’s antagonism and allows Ukraine to make steps forward Europe,” Sannikov said.
The European Belarus leader thinks Stefan Fule is sincerely interested in finding a solution to the Belarusian issue.
“The form of his meetings, with civil society representatives, political opposition and authorities, demonstrates he carries out open diplomacy. I think he has heard our concerns and will take into account our opinion when making a EU’s decision,” the politician noted.