Buzek warns Belarus over human rights

The President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek has said that if Belarus wants to benefit from E.U. support, it has to change its rules of conduct towards the opposition, NGOs and national minorities.

Addressing a press conference in Opole, southern Poland, Mr Buzek said this applies in particular to the Polish minority, the largest ethnic group in Belarus. He stressed that if the European Union is not able to grant Belarus its support because of the country's bad record in protecting human and civic rights, President Lukashenko and the Minsk government will be responsible.

The European Parliament President stressed that a delegation of MEPs, now in Belarus, is to present its report on the visit on Monday. According to him, Belarus needs E.U. assistance in such areas as long-term loans and technologies to help the ailing economy. Such assistance is possible, he stressed, only if Belarus introduces the necessary democratic reforms.

Earlier this month, Belarusian police detained a large group of activists of the Union of Poles


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