Belarusian Foreign Ministry Pays Back to Germans for Blacklisting Belarusian Officials
The denial of the Belarusian side to issue entry visas for participation in the 9th Minsk Forum for some deputies of German Bundestag and representatives of mass media of Germany has a character of response. It has been stated by the press secretary of the Foreign Ministry of Belarus Andrei Papou. ‘The Belarusian side had to take symmetrical measures as a reaction to restrictions against our country by the EU, the USA and a number of other countries. The possibility to take such measures has been announced at the briefing in the Foreign Affairs ministry on 8 June 2006. Thus, these measures should not have been a surprise for organizers of the forum’, the official representative of the Foreign Ministry said.
’In this connection we draw your attention to the fact that among the Belarusian citizens against who visa bans had been imposed, by Germany as well, there members of the representatives of Belarusian parliament and mass media. We believe that the logics of Bundestag deputies and journalists expressed in an interview to Deutsche Welle on who in fact ‘is blocking the dialogue’ and ‘free information sharing’, should first of all be used to initiators of restrictive measures against Belarus, and not against those who had been forced to take steps from our side,’ Andrei Papou said. ‘As for the deputies of the European Parliament, they have been banned entry to Belarus for participation in a bilateral Belarusian-German event’.
As said by the FM press-secretary, ‘the problem of issuing visas to the European parliament members who would like to visit our country for discussing any questions of cooperation between the members of the ‘national in accordance with established procedure and after coordination of the format and conceptual part of meetings’. ‘This is how the words of Belarusian ambassador to Belgium Uladzimir Sianko should be treated that ‘Minsk is open to the dialogue with the EU’, Andrei Papou added.
On 9-12 November representatives of the European parliament delegation on relations with Belarus and a few Bundestag deputies planned to visit Belarusian capital. The deputies were to take part in the 9th Minsk forum. However they have been denied Belarusian entry visas. The denial was formally explained by the fact that the Belarusian authorities are viewing Minsk forum as a strictly bilateral Belarusian-German event, without participation of a European component, and thus the European Parliament, in it. It has been informed only today why Bundestag deputies hadn’t been allowed to visit Belarus.