Vondra: Czechs against immediate lifting of sanctions on Belarus


Brussels, Sept 15 (CTK) - The Czech Republic would not support an immediate lifting of the sanctions against Belarus that the EU imposed in the past, Czech Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Alexandr Vondra said in Brussels Monday.

Vondra Monday attended a meeting of the EU foreign ministers in Brussels that discussed the possibility of softening the sanctions against Belarus.

The EU ministers agreed that the European Union was prepared to soften or maybe even abolish the sanctions against Belarus and representatives of the authoritarian regime of President Alexander Lukashenko after parliamentary elections in the country at the end of this month.

The ministers Monday praised the release of several political prisoners in Belarus in August. They said they were prepared to reconsider the sanctions if the parliamentary elections in Belarus were held in accordance with democratic principles.

"I think the goal is clear. In view of the current developments around Georgia I think that we all are interested in not pushing Belarus into embrace of its eastern neighbour (Russia)," Vondra said.

"However, we must become sure that if there is a certain improvement in Minsk it is not a mere episode and that it will be a permanent trend," Vondra said.

He said, however, that the Czech Republic would not support the immediate lifting of the sanctions at the moment.



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