The Congress of Belarusian Studies is taking place in Kaunas
04.10.2015 |Society| EuroBelarus Information Service,
The first part of the day was dedicated to the Belarus-Germany relations and the World War II problems.
Traditionally, the Congress of Belarusian Studies opened with welcoming words. Thus, Ulad Vialichka, the head of the International Consortium “EuroBelarus”, the leaders of Lithuanian and Belarusian Embassies, leaders of the Vytautas Magnus University, and Kaunas City Hall congratulated the numerous participants of the Congress on the opening of this event.
However, the first report was presented neither by the Lithuanian nor by Belarusian representative, but by the deputy of German Bundestag Johann Wadephul, who apart from the current Belarus-German also outlined Belarus-Europe relations.
He made a supposition that after the current presidential elections a question as to which path Belarus will take in future might appear. The German deputy based his view not on some naïve assumptions that someone will change Lukashenka at his post after October 11, but on the change in the geopolitical situation in the region that appeared in result of Crimea’s occupation by Russia.
“Lukashenka has created some sort of a neutral place. At the same time, he demonstrated to the West that he is open for communication and has released Belarusan political prisoners, - noted Johan Waderful. He also noted that “we need to make correct evaluation of these actions and in no way overestimate them”. “Freedom is something more than not being behind bars”, - emphasized the deputy of the Bundestag. He recalled that the authorities in Belarus still control political opposition and intervene in the work of the independent mass media.
At the same time, according to Johann Wadephul, after the Crimea’s occupation Aliaksandr Lukashenka demonstrated greater political independence than, say, Armenia.
Of course, the fact that Belarusan authorities slowly started moving towards the West doesn’t mean that Belarus’ joining the EU will be discussed any time soon. However, restoration of Belarus’ observing status in the Council of Europe can be discussed. “I am personally convinced that Belarus is a part of Europe”, - stated the German deputy.