Belarus opposition criticises EU policy
By Jakub Iwaniuk in Warsaw | Wednesday 04 April 2012
At the Euronest Assembly, held on 2-4 April in Baku, Azerbaijan, representatives of the opposition from the Republic of Belarus urged the EU to do more to help the country and criticised European policy. “What we expect from you is concrete action – proposals for your financial, technical and political support,” declared Alexei Yanukevich of the Belarusian People’s Front. “A lot of things have been said from your side but obviously this is not a way to influence Alexander Lukashenko.”
Euronest is a working group of members of the European Parliament and of parliaments from the five Eastern Partnership countries (Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan). Belarus does not participate formally because elections in the country have been declared non-compatible with democratic standards.
“The European Parliament’s moral support is highly appreciated but real elements of change are missing,” regretted dissident Aleksandr Milinkevich, winner of the Sakharov Prize forFreedom of Thought in 2006. Other dissidents used a harsher tone: “EU policy is very weak. The sanctions you are imposing are not real sanctions, just warnings. We need real plans, money and conditions, not just seminars and resolutions”.
These comments come in the wake of the European Parliament’s adoption, on 29 March, of a resolution backing more severe economic sanctions against the Belarus regime, decided by the foreign ministers in February.