Belarus: Further steps in Dialogue on Modernisation
Dear Minister,Excellencies,Ladies and gentlemen,
It is appropriate that we should gather here today in Poland, the birthplace of Solidarity. Like my own country, Poland knows a lot about the transition to democracy. Poland has also made a major contribution in shaping the European Union's policy towards its eastern neighbours. Nobody can be happy about the way in which the relationship between the European Union and Belarus has developed after the 19 December 2010 Presidential elections. The respect for human rights, the rule of law and democratic principles has deteriorated seriously and so have our bilateral relations. These developments are unfortunate. However, the European Union’s policies are principled and we have reacted to the increasingly repressive policies in Belarus. We will continue with our tough approach, including restrictive measures, until all political prisoners are released and rehabilitated and steps taken towards human rights and democracy. Talking about steps, let me join the Foreign Minister radek Sikorski and say that the release of two political prisoners Mr Sannikaw and Mr Bandarenka was a step in the right direction. What is important now is that the rest of the political prisoners is released.
More information: Speech by Commissioner Füle [136 KB]