Belarusian opposition leaders meet EPP leadership on cooperation strategy between EU and Belarus
On 21 March 2015 in Riga leaders of the Belarusian opposition parties met with the leadership of the European People’s Party: EPP chairman Joseph Daul, Vice-President Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, Vice-Chair of the EPP Group in the European Parliament Sandra Kalniete. The Belarusian side was represented by co-chairman of the Belarusian Christian Democracy Vital Rymasheuski, chairman of the United Civil Party Anatol Lyabedzka, BPF Party chairman Aleksei Yanukevich and chairman of the Movement “For Freedom” movement Aliaksandr Milinkevich.
Thecommon vision of the Belarusian democratic forcesoncommunication strategybetweenthe EU,Eastern PartnershipandBelaruswaspresentedat the meeting.This strategy was initiated by the BelarusianChristianDemocracy Party in early 2015and the common appeal was signed on 13 March. Itis based on the cooperative approach toan effective dialogue between Belarus and the EU, implementation ofurgentpolitical and economic reforms for modernization of the country and achievement ofthe objectives of the Eastern Partnership. The cooperation should include the Belarusian authorities,civilsocietyof the country and the political opposition.
In this connection theBelarusianopposition 1)requests torestorethe tripartite formatofEU-Belarus dialogue, with the participation of representatives ofthedemocratic organizations and thepolitical opposition in Belarus; 2) proposes to restorethenegotiation process between the governmentand theoppositionwith the mediation of the EU to conduct free, fair electionsaccording to theOSCE standardsand admissionoftheopposition to the state media; this process wasfrozen in 1999on the initiative of the official Minsk; 3) emphasises thatthetop priorities for the dialogue should befree andfairelections in Belarusaccording to theOSCE standards, termination of prosecution of independent journalists andensuringfreedom of the media, registrationofall public associations and political parties, whichweredenied registrationon unlawful reasons; 4) emphasisesthatthe real step toshow the true interest of the Belarusian authorities in the dialoguewiththe EU istherelease of political prisoners and theirfullrehabilitation. The following citizens of Belarus should be released immediately:MikalaiStatkevich, Ihar Alinevich, MikalaiDziadok,YauhenVaskovich, Artsiom Prakapenka andYuryRubtsou.The candidates for presidency in elections on 19 December 2010 and the members of their teams, convicted after19December 2010, should be reinstated in their rights.