31.05.2015 |Politics| EuroBelarus Information Service,
Further development of cooperation between Belarus and the EU depends on Minsk.
“Minsk after Riga: Forum on reforms, or how Belarus should adapt and develop in the new regional contexts”. The conference under such name takes place on May 28-29 in Minsk.
As seen at the first day of the conference organized by the Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies (BISS) and the Embassy of the Latvian Republic in Belarus, people see the ways of Belarus’ development in near future differently. And the standpoint depends on the place of sitting.
It was Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Latvia to Belarus Mihails Popkovs, who had the most substantial discussion of the results of Summit in Riga. He noted that the Summit was planned as a working since the beginning, so no breakthroughs were to have been expected from it. At the same time he admitted that in general the goals of the Riga Summit were reached and countries-members of the Eastern Partnership were given a signal that the EU is interested in this initiative. At the same time the participants of the Summit managed to avoid confrontation and preserve consolidated stance of the EU.
Talking about Belarus-Europe relations, Mihails Popkovs noted that the further development of Belarus-EU cooperation depends on Minsk, where “observation of human rights and authority of law remain the important part of our dialog”.
Making a statement at the session “Belarus in Geopolitical Contexts”, Charge d'Affaires of the European Union delegation in Belarus Rodolphe Richard stopped at the current Belarus-Europe cooperation. Admitting the growing trust that Belarus has towards the EU and, accordingly, the effect from the policy of small steps towards each other, Rodolphe Richard noted that according to Lukashenka, Belarus would always bring a helping hand to Russia. “It’s good to be at the crossroads. But it’s not very comfortable to do the splits for a long time”, - said Rodolphe Richard when commenting on such Belarusan multivectorness.
The conference also heard the statements of the representatives of Belarusan government bodies and even guests from Russia. The former, in accordance with their administrative duties, were singing the praises of the sustainability of the Belarusan development model, while the latter were talking about the discredit of democratic values just as the talking heads from the Russian TV-channels.
Nevertheless, the presence of such people reminded of the geopolitical context that Belarus is in and that didn’t make it possible to lose contact with reality.
The second day of the conference was dedicated to the discussion of reforms that Belarus needs to perform in the sphere of economics, finance, education, and media sphere.