H. Schmid: the release of political prisoners — a key to the normalization of relations with the EU

In his statement, the representative Javier Solana said that in relation to Belarus in the midst of 27 EU Member States have different approaches, but there is a consensus that it is fundamental for the EU countries.
"This is the principal transit country, and we litsezreem Belarus as part of the European family," — said Mrs. Schmid.
Ms. Schmid mentioned the 12 EU proposals Belarus made a year earlier.
"We wish to support Belarus to conduct fundamental reforms, the modernization process. We wish to expand the scope of the favored for Belarusian people, "- said Mrs. Schmid.
But, according to Schmid, large-scale cooperation between the EU and Belarus may start while maintaining official Minsk OSCE values and of the Council of Europe.
By Helga Schmid, the situation in Belarus, as before, is a concern. She referred to the authorities responded to peaceful demonstrations after the presidential election, the situation of media freedom, the position of non-governmental organizations and intimidation of the opposition.
"The fact that a number of political prisoners in Belarus are further bullpen and it is very difficult relationship between The EU and Belarus. Decision these problems, and first release of political prisoners — a key to normalize our relations and building partnerships that have, such as Ukraine and Moldova. "
"Fundamentally, that the Belarusian people could decide who should run in Belarus"
Ms. Schmid with all this said that the European Union does not wish to isolation of Belarus.
"This does not mean that we want to overthrow the Belarusian control or hold a color revolution. Principle that the Belarusian people could decide who should rule in Belarus. But this be opportunity for the people to decide the future of the country through transparent and free elections. "
Ms. Schmid directed attention on elections 2008 and said that "you need to make configuration of the electoral legislation of Belarus, the elections meet European and international standards."
By H. Schmid, "all political forces should be able to submit their applets, and here only basic freedom of the media. And very fundamentally, that these elections with the participation of international observers."
Mrs. H. Schmid said that the Belarusian government should send invitations in advance for OSCE observers.
By Helga Schmid, the EU does not expect that the 12 requirements will be executed. But the EU will respond to real, positive steps on the part of the official Minsk.

German policy on relations with Belarus, 23.11.2007

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