Visiting Belarus visa-free

Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus in regard to the Declaration by the Spanish Presidency on behalf of the European Union on 8 May, 2002 concerning Belarus-OSCE relations

Regarding the Declaration by the Spanish Presidency on behalf of the European Union on 8 May, 2002 concerning Belarus-OSCE relations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus deems it necessary to note that this Declaration contradicts the principles contained in fundamental EU documents dealing with the development and maintaining the friendly relations with the non-EU members.

It should be noted that the question of visa extension to the OSCE officer was put into the list of issues of the European policy in situation when the European Union abstains from statements on the substance of the current regional and foreign political life. The Belarusian side regards such approach as a direct pressure on the Belarusian State and the OSCE from behalf of the European Union and suggests the Spanish Presidency to refuse from the actions causing damage to the co-operation of the Republic of Belarus with the OSCE.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus declares that the refusal by the EU member-states to consider in the OSCE Permanent Council the issue on the role, aims and goals of the OSCE Advisory and Monitoring Group in Belarus, raised by the Belarusian side back in December 2001, proves the lack of constructive and open approach towards the evaluation of the activity of the mentioned Group and the endeavoring by the number of the European states to regard the OSCE AMG as a political and diplomatic presence of the EU in Belarus for achieving its own goals.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus calls upon the Spanish EU Presidency to refuse from further consideration of the issues that lay within the competence of the OSCE - another European regional organization, to show the political wisdom and will and to restore the full-scale co-operation of the European Union with the Republic of Belarus.