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Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus on the adoption of the EU Council Conclusions on Belarus

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expresses its deep regret over the EU Council Conclusions of 31 January 2011.

At the core of this decision is the flagrant “blind eye” policy of the Council vis-à-vis the aggressive actions and violence initiated by the demonstrators manifested in the attempt of a takeover of the seat of the Government and the Parliament of the Republic of Belarus on 19 December 2010 following the presidential elections. The selective and biased interpretation in the Council Conclusions of the findings of the international election observation in Belarus is meant to disregard the clearly expressed will of the Belarusian people.

Neither of the two notions will change the objective facts.

Such an attitude cannot produce the right corollary.

The logic behind the Council Conclusions paves the way to the EU’s direct interference into domestic affairs of a sovereign state. It undermines trust and inevitably leads to actions detrimental to the ambition of shaping a Europe free of dividing lines shared by both the East and the West of the continent.

By creating artificial obstacles to interstate cooperation the European Union deprives itself of the possibility to contribute in a constructive manner to social transformations in Belarus. The outright attempt to justify the violation of law that a part of the opposition committed endangering public security appears in fact a promotion of lawlessness and extremism from abroad. This practice prevents public organizations from developing a responsible civic position based on national interests.

This is hardly in line with the officially proclaimed goals of the European Union.

It is particularly unacceptable that the EU responds in an absolutely incomparable way to the by far tougher actions by the governments of certain other countries in Europe. The clear-cut “double standards” policy proves hollow the EU rhetoric in support of the “European values”.

Tension in relations with the EU is not our choice. Nevertheless, the Council Conclusions compel the Republic of Belarus to take proportionate and adequate measures with a view to strengthening the national sovereignty, safeguarding the stability and cohesion of the Belarusian society.

We call on the European Union to renounce its logic of confrontation and unwise attempts to destroy the constructive content of our relations that has no reasonable alternative and that we have been painstakingly shaping together.

Belarus will continue to pursue in a coherent and gradual manner modernization and reform of public institutions, development of social dialogue and civil society in line with the country’s needs.

The pressure against Belarus has no other chance but to fail. Joint efforts to overcome the current difficulties in relations with the EU which emerged through no fault of the Belarusian authorities is in the common interests of Belarus and the EU and contribute to consolidation of the European unity in the face of new risks and challenges.

We favour stronger partnership with the EU, an open, candid and respectful dialogue and equal cooperation without discrimination and “double standards”.

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