Dictators understand the EU's weakness as permission to shoot people.
The leaders of the Belarusian opposition have met today in Vilnius with Dirk Schuebel, the Head of the Eastern Partnership Bilateral Division of the European External Action Service, Radio Svaboda informs.
“Representatives of seven Belarusian institutions expressed their opinions on the current EU-Belarus relations. I personally said that the dialogue on modernisation had been started on the initiative of civil society and democratic parties of Belarus. But today they find themselves on the sidelines of the process. In my opinion, it was done due to the efforts of the EU Delegation to Minsk and the office of European Commissioner Stefan Fuele. Brussels conducts large-scale negotiations with the Belarusian authorities and half-hidden cooperation with the Lukashenka regime,” says Vital Rymasheuski, the co-head of the organising committee to create the Belarusian Christian Democracy party.
“I emphasised that the Belarusian authorities unambiguously regard such EU's policy as a policy of weakness of the EU. My colleagues agreed with me. They took the example of the local election to show that conditions for holding elections haven't improved, on the contrary, they have worsened significantly,” he added.
“We drew attention to the fact that the EU gives money to the Belarusian authorities and democratic society doesn't know how it is spent,” Vital Rymasheuski said.
“I also noticed that consequences of softer relations with undemocratic regimes by Brussels can now be observed in Ukraine. The country's president Viktor Yanukovych understood this weakness as permission to shoot people. We were assured that the policy of targeted sanctions against Belarusian officials would be continued and persons responsible for repressions would be put on the blacklist. We were satisfied to hear the EU insisted on the release of all Belarusian political prisoners, not only some of them.
We are happy to have conveyed our message to EU officials. They now know not only the position of the authorities and analytical centres loyal to the Belarusian leadership,” Vital Rymasheuski said.
The meeting was also attended by chairman of the United Civil Party Anatol Liabedzka, leader of the For Freedom movement Aliaksandr Milinkevich, head of the civil campaign Tell the Truth Uladzimir Niakliaeu and others.