21 January 2018, Sunday, 0:07

Makei tells tall tales to European politicians in Tbilisi

The Belarusian foreign minister suddenly began to talk about “involvement in the  European integration process”.

Representatives of the European Union and the Eastern Partnership participating countries, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, had talks today in Tbilisi, Radio Svaboda reports.

Štefan Füle, the European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, reminded at a press conference that the release of political prisoners in Belarus might be a precondition for improving the EU-Belarus relations.

The Belarusian minister in response presented his vision of Belarus in the Eastern Partnership project and its role in the relations with the EU.

“We have been a full-fledged member of the Eastern Partnership programme from the very beginning. We remain and will remain in this initiative. You know, there are certain problems in our relations with the EU, but I think they should be solved in a calm way in an open dialogue. I hope we will have such a dialogue tomorrow with Ms Catherine Ashton and commissioner Štefan Füle. I think that not isolation, but involvement in the European integration process can help our country to become more democratic. This is our position,” Uladzimir Makei said.

It seems official Minsk is also ready to take part in the Dialogue on Modernisation, the initiative mentioned by commissioner Štefan Füle.

In late November, the Belarusian MFA sent European capitals letters with proposals and demands relating to participation in the programme, Euroradio reports.

“The Belarusian side really sent its suggestions. . Possibly some new information could appear on the results of the meeting being held in Tbilisi,” the EU Delegation to Belarus says.

It's not the first time when the Belarusian authorities announce their readiness for a “dialogue” with the European Union. It always happens when official Minsk urgently needs European loans or ahead of serious problems in the Belarusian economy.