EU Plans On Improved Relationship With Belarus

Steven Petrov

The Paw Print

The European Union has begun its plans on expanding and improving its current political and economical relations with Belarus. This news came as somewhat of a surprise, due to the fact that Belarus has been often referred to as the last dictatorship in Europe, because of its totalitarian leader Alexander Lukashenko. Latvia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkēvičs, expressed his positive outlook on any future improvements in EU’s relations with Belarus. He mentioned however that few of the immediate issues that first must be resolved before any further improvements are made include the current situation with the military prisoners in Belarus. Edgars Rinkēvičs also commented that such a resolution should not take too long to be reached. This political decision taken by the EU was agreed upon on Saturday March 7th in Riga, the capital of Latvia, during a meeting among EU’s Ministers of Foreign Affairs.

Political analysts believe that such a move will be viewed as Belarus’s “reward” for helping in the reaching of the Minsk agreements between Ukraine and Russia as well as for the signs of more democratic government formation involving the release of political prisoners and the potential for no-visa travelling in the country. For many years EU has been imposing sanctions on Belarus for the imprisonment of any political opposition of the current regime, which is in direct violation with people’s freedoms. The lack of a democratic and judicial reform has also been the reason for numerous sanctions. The Belarus’ president Lukashenko, has a EU travel ban, not allowing him to travel anywhere through the European Union. However, throughout the past year EU has primarily focused on Lukashenko’s neighbor, the Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Union has imposed a series of economic sanctions, visa bans as well as the blockage of assets held by high ranked Russian politicians and businessmen. The main reason was the ongoing political, economical and military conflict between Russia and Ukraine, where the former was considered to be the aggressor. Due to this prolonged conflict and the numerous different actions that EU took to ensure the conflict’s peaceful resolution, the Union has looked favorably on any political help that was put forth by other countries like Belarus, which has been actively supporting the conflict’s peaceful resolution. Belarus had major impact on the singing of the Minsk agreements, and this is the main reason why EU’s relations with the country are being reevaluated before the meeting at the top with the countries from the Eastern partnership in Riga in May this year. This meeting will aim and offer to Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbejdzan, and Moldova closer political and economical ties with the EU only if further political and economical reforms are being made. Belarus’ president Alexander Lukashenko has never participated in any of the previous meetings of the Eastern partnership, and his invitation is still up for debate. is powered by WordPress µ | Spam prevention powered by Akismet