German expert on Belarus, the former head of the OSCE in Belarus Hans-Georg Wieck interview with Deutsche Welle in his opinions on the current position of Germany in the dialogue between the EU and Belarus.
We offer you a translation of the interview.
Deutsche Welle: Does Germany's own strategy of building relations with Belarus, other than the line of the European Union?
Hans-Georg Wieck: The fact that the German position towards Belarus is fundamentally different from the position of the European Union — is all nonsense critics of European policy, existing since the beginning of President Alexander Lukashenko.
The clearest expression of this view was Zenon Pozniak, speaking against Russia and against Germany. Such comments can only mean that the efforts of the EU and, in particular, in Berlin to promote democracy in Belarus are simply ignored.
Accusations against Germany is that it is too easy on the Lukashenko regime — is at the same time and charges to the European Union as a whole. Such an understanding of EU policy is based on an incorrect interpretation.
Through dialogue we aim to engage Belarus in the democratic process. For example, the program "Eastern Partnership" shows that Civil Society may have a weight and importance in the political decision-making. Therefore, the special position of the alleged criticism of Germany on the Belarusian issue that has affected me personally and when I headed the OSCE mission in Minsk, distorts understanding of European policy towards Belarus.
Deutsche Welle: How can you explain the current position of Germany in respect of the official Minsk?
Hans-Georg Wieck: In order to integrate the country into European processes, it is necessary sygnalizavats her readiness to engage in dialogue, and not constantly threaten punishments. European Union imposed partial sanctions, expressing dissatisfaction with the authoritarian policies of Lukashenko inconsistent with democratic norms advocated by the European Union. In this regard, the cooperation with Belarus in certain areas has been suspended.
But in general, with a country that is a European, but insulates itself from Europe, you can not stop communicating, and otherwise it does not get out of this isolation. The "Eastern Partnership" and can become such a tool for dialogue. By the way, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was among the few European politicians of the highest rank, who were present at the summit of "Eastern Partnership" in Prague 2009y.
I repeat: criticism of Germany for her too soft stance on Belarus, which at times appears to I think, absolutely not justified. I can not help but admit that some small steps towards democratization taken by the Belarusian authorities in diplomatic circles is often interpreted as a signal of fundamental change of the political situation in the country. This assessment is also wrong and will not be true as long as the Minsk will not start serious reforms.