Jursenas: EU countries should soften relation with Belarus

Petras Vaida, BC, Vilnius

Lithuanian Seimas Speaker Ceslovas Jursenas thinks that European countries should soften relations with Belarus.

According to the Lithuanian Radio, the head of state is going to express such a suggestion at the conference of the heads of parliaments of the Nordic and Baltic states, which is scheduled to begin in Jurmala on Tuesday. Lithuania considers the release of political prisoners in the country to be a serious signal from Belarus to the Euro-Atlantic community. In the middle of Augustm the Belarussian president ordered to release Aleksandr Kozulin, one of the opposition leaders, his former rival in the presidential elections in 2006.

According to Jursenas, these facts should encourage the West to reconsider its position.

"The position on Belarus could change, because we have seen bright new facts - the release of political prisoners and especially that of Kozulin. This is not a simple thing, this is a real event and I think that this should encourage thinking whether further harsh isolation policy towards Belarus is necessary. Maybe it should be softened a bit," the Seimas speaker claimed.

Foreign Minister Petras Vaitiekunas also shares this opinion.

"Belarus is changing its position towards the West, I think we should also think about accepting these signals sent by this county," he said on Monday. Currently official relations with Belarus are not developed properly and president Aleksandr Lukashenko is not permitted to go to the EU member states.



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