Czech ForMin for sanctions against Belarussian politicians

Prague - Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg (TOP 09) said today he is against severance of all relations with Belarus, but he would support sanctions against the country?s political representatives, such as restricting their opportunities to travel abroad.

In a lecture on Czech foreign political priorities this year, Schwarzenberg said he is in favour of continued support to the development of civic society in Belarus.

The prepared new concept of Czech diplomacy places emphasis on human rights and democracy in the world.

Representatives of the Belarussian democratic opposition called on the European Union in Prague last week to introduce sanctions against the regime of President Alexandr Lukashenko.

Schwarzenberg said then he cannot imagine the Czech Republic?s friendly relations with Belarus in a situation where Lukashenko?s political opponents are in jail.

Schwarzenberg said today the Czech Republic should also support the development of civic society in Ukraine.

Prague should be careful in talking with Ukraine?s political representatives, Schwarzenberg said in connection with the accusations levelled against some former government representatives.

One of them, former economy minister Bohdan Danylyshyn, was granted political asylum in the Czech Republic last week.

Turning to the euro zone, Schwarzenberg said he does not consider the adoption of the single European currency in the Czech Republic as a matter of "prestige" and that it is necessary to consider the step in a mater-of-fact way.

He said the current coalition government, whose term will expire in 2014, will not make a decision on the adoption of the euro.

Schwarzenberg said the Czech Republic should not adopt the euro only because it is "pro-European."

Schwarzenberg said some Czech embassies will not have people focusing on export policy only because of the austerity measures the ministry has had to take.

Instead, some diplomats, besides political themes, will have to pay more attention to Czech exports in cooperation with the ministries of agriculture and of industry and trade, Schwarzenberg said.


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