PACE President voices conditions for resuming contacts with official Minsk
On April 22, Anne Brasseur, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, spoke about the situation in Belarus. She reminded the conditions for resuming contacts with the official Minsk: a moratorium on the death penalty, the release of political prisoners and holding free elections. The resumption of high-level contacts between PACE and the official Minsk or the return of the country’s special guest status are out of the question unless these three conditions are implemented by Belarus, euroradio.fm reports.
“I recognize Belarus’ role in the organization of the Minsk negotiations on settlement of the conflict in Ukraine. They were meant to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Though the Minsk agreement is fragile enough, the ceasefire is still precarious. Yet, the fact that Belarus provided a platform for negotiations is a positive step. Nevertheless, we cannot forget the obstacles that do not allow Belarus to join the Council of Europe: issues of the death penalty, free elections and the release of political prisoners. We cannot just say: You have done a lot to conduct negotiations on Ukraine, and now we do not take into consideration those important issues we have raised before. In case there is progress concerning the issues, there will be a possible decision to resume high-level contacts,” said Ms. Brasseur to euroradio.fm.
According to her, the first evidence of such progress could be this year’s presidential election. If from the beginning it is held in conditions of equal opportunity for all candidates and freedom, it will signal to the PACE that Belarus really wants to develop a dialogue, says PACE President.
The decision to terminate the high-level contacts between PACE and Belarus was adopted in April 2010.