Polish Foreign Minister on Belarus and Ukraine

At an informal meeting of EU foreign ministers in Avignon, Poland called for a thaw in relations with Belarus.

Referring to the recent release of political prisoners in that country, Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said that the European Union 'should recognize what has been done'. Talking to reporters, Mr Sikorski made a comparison to Cuba, a country with 260 prisoners and no sanctions against it in place. He expressed hope that the forthcoming parliamentary election in Belarus will be 'less restrictive and less rigged than before', adding that a process of rebuilding trust was needed.

Mr Sikorski also said Poland was ready to send a police contingent to Georgia as part of the European Union's mission there. On Ukraine, the Polish Foreign Minister admitted that at present Warsaw finds it increasingly difficult to call for a European perspective for Ukraine. 'In order to make pro-Ukrainian gestures, he said, 'we have to have a clear vision of what Ukraine's intentions are'.



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