September 15 in Brussels, ministers of foreign affairs of the European Union decided to link the improvement of relations with Belarus for the election of the House of Representatives. Why not work break at the moment, before the election? How can this decision otkommentirovat ministers of foreign affairs of the European Union? What are the prospects for relations after the election?
Members: the secretary of the Fund "Freedom and Justice" Marek Bucko from Warsaw and analyst registered in Lithuania Belarusian Institute for Strategic research Denis Melyantsou from Minsk.
Why not lift the sanctions in the elections?
Valery Karbalevich: "In recent weeks, there was a whole series of European politicians contacts with Belarusian officials. Can recall the meeting of Prime Ministers of Belarus and Lithuania, talks of foreign affairs of Belarus and Lithuania, Belarus and Poland trip Belarusian Deputy Prime Minister Kobyakova economic forum in the Polish city of Source and his meeting there with the leaders of the Polish government. Given that hitherto was vneglasnoe ban on European politicians to negotiate with Belarusian officials of higher rank than the Deputy Minister, these actions can be seen as diplomatically sensation. appeared that the Minister of Foreign Affairs Martynov of Belarus are invited to a meeting of foreign ministers of the EU countries on March 15. And the minister of foreign affairs of Poland Sikorsky even read that, maybe on days of sanctions against Belarus will be canceled.
But here it just did not work. Martynov in Brussels was not invited to the question of sanctions undergo consideration only after the elections. Why not work break at the moment, although the signs of this have been? "
Marek Bucko: "I think that the initial euphoria of the EU towards Belarus has passed. Because there statements that Belarus practically democracy. Cited as evidence the facts that Lukashenko freed political prisoners and allowed to come to the polls, the OSCE observers. And so, they say, must lift the sanctions. Currently in the EU beginning to dominate sensible idea that decision-making should be avoided before the election. Even with the West can be seen that the election campaign is undemocratic method.
Incidentally, the Polish public opinion refers to mitigate sanctions rather cautiously. The last visit of the Minister of foreign affairs of Poland Sikorski Belarus adopted here versatile. Part politicians keen on the idea of warming in relations with Belarus, glad I started a movement. There are hopes that Lukashenko can be removed from the Russian zone of influence. And the media, public opinion in most of their own do not believe they need to hurry. "
Fri 12 did not abolish
Denis Melyantsou: "A certain diplomatic breakthrough has occurred. I mean those visits, which you mentioned. Sanctions hitherto not abolished because, in the 1-x, the EU does nothing quickly. Indeed the EU — the largest organization in which hard to find agreement between the 27 members.
In-2, although there are positive changes in the political life, but sooner read that today’s elections will be democratic. The EU has 12 points that Belarus must perform to do better business with Europe. Although in the near future, these 12 points were narrowed till 2: release of political prisoners and the holding of democratic elections in the House of Representatives.
Indeed, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland, Sikorski stated that sanctions can be lifted within a few days. But before the election less than a 2-weeks. Because of Sikorsky, for sure, was right. "
Ministerial Decision of foreign ministers of the European Union
Karbalevich: "September 15 ministers of foreign affairs of the European Union in Brussels decided to link the improvement of relations with Belarus criteria for the election of Representatives. How can you to comment on this decision?"
Bucko: "If European politicians talk about the ability to lift the sanctions, they do not put forward any criterion. Because at the moment the ministers of foreign affairs of the EU, such a condition set.
I think the EU is going to recognize these elections, whatever they may be. Initially own conclusion makes the OSCE. And the OSCE observers noted that the elections were democratic, although there were certain deficiencies. And on this basis, the EU lifted sanctions against Belarus. "
Melyantsou: "I would characterize this resolution as a restrained but positive with respect to the official Minsk. EU back to the same requirements for Belarus. He expects not words, but real steps. Satisfy only the release of prisoners European politicians can not, because it is well aware that Lukashenko nothing prevents regain political hostages for trade with the West.
EU seeks to use international context, to include Belarus in the EU orbit effects. Also in view of the EU lethargy Belarusian issue and a desire to solve it completely. "
What are the prospects?
Karbalevich: "Apparently, to hold free and democratic elections, count votes honestly Belarusian authorities do not intend to. This is evidenced by the fact that the district commissions have included a small number of members of the opposition. And after the election, before the EU takes a difficult task that elect — the values of democracy or pragmatic geopolitical calculations. In your opinion, what would be the choice? "
Bucko: "First, it should be noted moderate attitude of England, concerning the abolition of sanctions. Although at the moment for the abolition of sanctions act more intensively Poland and Lithuania, but the situation in Poland itself diverse. After all, there is no consensus between the ruling party" Civic Platform ", to which the Minister of Foreign Affairs Sikorski, and the opposition party "Law and Justice", whose attitude to this issue more restrained.
Must take into account the procedural question. Sanctions concerning restrictions on Belarusian officials race to the EU, you can just cancel and swiftly.
But the exclusion of Belarus from the Generalized System of Preferences came as a result of violations of trade union freedoms. And in this area are no configurations failed. Because there is no reason to cancel the economic sanctions. "
The EU recognizes the elections
Melyantsou: "I do not agree with, the Bucko is what grade Belarusian elections will give the OSCE. Think OSCE observers do not recognize their full democracies, although some progress.
But the decision to normalize relations with Belarus — is a political decision. Because the EU will apply the positive traits of the OSCE Election to recognize them.
Here principled U.S. position, which rapidly react to actions in Belarus. This is evidenced by a partial lifting of sanctions. Because the EU will coordinate its position on Belarus with the U.S..
Here, the Bucko said that visa sanctions quite rapidly reversible. But not economic sanctions, such as visa bans times more annoying for the Belarusian government, although they seem to be symbolic.
We can probably say that the new House of Representatives will be recognized by international society. And this, in turn, relieves Lukashenko responsibility for decisions of Parliament, including the decision on the recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. "
Bucko: "Recognizes the fact of whether the EU parliament in opposition to confirming 3-5 partial democratization of the election? Wishes to recall that the
House of Representatives have been opponents of Lukashenko. I mean deputies Frolov Skrabets and others. And it does not impact on Democracy and Progress in Belarus. "
Tags: elections, EU sanctions