Elmar Brok: Issue of Belarusian political prisoners must we solved ASAP
12:53, — Politics
EU’s relations with Belarus depend on the resolution of the complications standing in the way, especially the ones related to the issue of political prisoners in Belarus.
The opinion was shared by the chairman of the European Parliament’s Foreign Committee Elmar Brok in an interview to charter97.org at an inter-Parliamentary conference that took place at Lithuania’s parliament last week in the framework of the country’s EU presidency.
According to Brok, Belarus remains an participant of the EU’s Eastern Partnership initiative and at the moment the cooperation with it takes place at a different level than with other participants of the initiative. At the same time he noted that the EU should not break ties with its Belarusian neighbor.
“Belarus is one of the neighboring countries, it is always invited to participate (in the Eastern Partnership initiative - charter97.org). We hope that the complications that we have, especially on the issue of political prisoners, can be resolved as soon as possible, and we will be able to make further steps towards cooperation”.
To the question whether the invitation of sanctioned Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus Uladzimir Makej to the Eastern Partnership summit will contribute to the process of the country’s engagement in the initiative, Mr Brok responded:
“So far Belarus remains engaged, but on a different level due to the current situation. That is why we should not break ties”.
We would remind that in his speech at the conference Elmar Brok criticized Russia. He called Russia’s pressure on Armenia over the issue of joining the Customs Union a blackmail.
Speaking of the Eastern Partnership Elmar Brok accentuated that the participant countries should make decisions regarding their future themselves, not under external influence.
“Every country should make decisions individually, these are not decisions that are taken in Moscow or Brussels. These are independent states, which should make their decisions like Lithuania did that as it fought for independence”, - Brok said.