22 June 2018, Friday, 21:48
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"Charter-97" Blocking Is a Big Step Back in Relations with the European Union

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Agnieszka Kozłowska-Rajewicz

MEP Agnieszka Kozłowska-Rajewicz expressed solidarity with the Belarusian independent website.

In relations with the European Union the Belarusian authorities made a big step back. MEP Agnieszka Kozłowska-Rajewicz stated that when commenting on the blocking of Charter97.org in Belarus:

- It is a pity that the portal "Charter-97" was blocked. It is popular not only in Belarus, but also abroad. As far as I know, a lot of Ukrainians read you website.

The blocking of "Charter-97" became other example of neglect of civil rights in Belarus. Obviously, the Belarusian authorities will not gain any benefit from this blocking. When we talk about Belarus, the obedience of civil liberties and human rights is the large stumbling block.

If the situation in this sphere had improved, the attitude towards Belarus would have been much better.

As for relations with the West (Belarusian authorities apply for promotion of such relations), the blocking of "Charter-97" is a big step back.

- How can the European Parliament influence the situation with freedom of speech in Belarus?

- It adopts resolutions criticizing states criticizing violation of human rights. These resolutions may have impact on states out of borders of the EU.

Several hundred resolutions have already been adopted on Belarus. The latest one expresses hope that the Belarusian authorities will become more open to the West. After all, Belarus released political prisoners. One thing is certain: if there were some improvements upon one issue, another one suffered deteriorations.

Critical resolutions of the European Parliament are the ground for the European Commission to run the foreign policy on behalf of the entire EU.

Every few months the European Parliament speaks out on Belarus. There is some hope that the delegation for Belarus, which monitors and analyzes relations between the EU and Belarus, will take some steps up on the issue of the blocking of "Charter-97".

I'd like to express my solidarity with "Charter-97", its journalists and readers. "Charter-97" is one of the most respected Internet resources. This independent political portal publishes information of a good quality. And it's a pity that Belarus has blockedthe site. I would like to express y hope that the blocking will not last long and this situation is about to end.

It will be recalled that on January 24 the Lukashenka regime blocked an independent information source Charter97.org. The first Deputy Minister of Information Ihar Lutski confirmed the blocking access. The Ministry of Information is headed by Aliaksandr Karlyukevich.