The second round of negotiations between Belarus and the EU is held today in Brussels.
“It would be logical if economic problems on the EU-Belarus talks on financial and economic issues would be discussed alongside with the problem of political prisoners release. In my view, the release of political prisoners, free elections in compliance with the OSCE standards and plan on Belarus's modernisation should be discussed together in the context of the common strategy. If Brussels has political will to do it, the results will be seen today, tomorrow or the day after tomorrow,” chairman of the United Civil Party (UCP) Anatol Lyabedzka told charter97.org.
The politician says viewing economic and political problems separately means making the same mistake:
“It would be wrong to separate economic and political issues – rights and liberties, political prisoners. It would mean stepping on a rake twice and getting new problems.”
The initiative in Europe belongs to bearers of values, Anatol Lyabedzka is confident.
“Brussels now tries to use all tools and mechanisms for negotiations, both open public ones and those on the sidelines. The other matter that it is the initiative of supporters of values, not pragmatism. We cannot say that all in Brussels became bearers of values. There is a large group of pragmatists.”
The UCP head thinks we should not underestimate lobbyists of the Belarusian regime:
“The Belarusian authorities work too. Supposing that Belarus works only through the country's diplomatic representations in Europe is silly. There are lobbyists, who are being paid. The authorities have people to lobby their economic and trade interests.”
The second round of the EU-Belarus negotiations on financial and economic issues is to be held today in Brussels. Official representatives of Belarus are expected to take part in the talks.