Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Latvian Foreign Ministry says that without resolution of a number of conditions it will be hard to sign the basic agreement between Belarus and the EU.
The newest agenda of EU-Belarus relations that the experts discussed at the conference “Minsk after Riga: Forum on reforms, or how Belarus should adapt and develop in the new regional contexts” presupposes signing of the basic agreement between the EU and Minsk as its final goal. Belarus is the only country among EU neighbors that doesn’t have such agreement.
“Strategic goal is to unfreeze our political relations and work over the agreement that both the EU and Belarus should be interested in. Belarus is still EU’s neighbor and we have many contacts. How can it be that we still have no political base?” – noted Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Latvian Foreign Ministry Juris Poikans in the interview with the “EuroBelarus” Information Service.
However, talks about correction of certain demands of the EU, such as lower principality in relation to political prisoners, have no grounds, emphasized the diplomat.
“I think that it is impossible to remove the issue of human rights from EU-Belarus dialog agenda – it is a basis of EU’s development. And since we believe that Belarus is a European country we need to share the way we understand standards. The issue of human rights will always be very important; but I think that the most important thing is not to have some huge unrealistic illusions, but try to develop our relations at the fragile basis we have now”, - Juris Poikans said.
According to him, for now Europe and Belarus “cannot find a lot of points of contact, but we still need to work over those projects that help us reach mutual understanding”. “However, the issue of human rights won’t be removed from the EU’s agenda until the existing problems are resolved”, - Juris Poikans emphasized.
EU will continue the policy of involving Belarus into closer relations with Europe:
“Conceptually, issues of human rights are, of course, important. But we want to fully use the potential of the policy of small steps through involving Belarus into our common projects – starting from Belarus’ interests. I think that it might be called one of the main principles of the “Eastern Partnership” – we want to develop relations with each country-participant of the project separately, to a degree desired by these countries. If there is desire to move quicker, then issues of human rights and resolution of these main concerns will become an impulse for more active political relations. Keeping this in mind, I think we need to look strategically, not only be focused entirely on the current moment and current problems”, - stated Juris Poikans.