Visit of EU Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner to Minsk postponed again

Visit of EU Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner to Minsk postponed again

visit of Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy planed to April, is postponed again.

It has been stated at the briefing in Minsk by the head of the information department, a press-secretary of the Foreign Ministry of Belarus Andrei Papou.

“Now the sides are working at new dates of Benita Ferrero-Waldner’s visit to Belarus,” Papou said.

As we have informed, the visit of the EU Commissioner to Minsk is postponed for the second time. First Mrs Ferrero-Waldner planned to visit Belarus on March 12-13, however, a few days before her visit it was stated that the visit is postponed till the middle of April.

During the meeting with the chairman of the United Civil Party (UCP) Anatol Lyabedzka and a politician Alyaksandr Kazulin on March 11 in Strasbourg, the European Commissioner noted that Europe “cannot fidget with the values which are fundamental values for the European Union”.

In February new political prisoners appeared in Belarus: leaders of the movement of businessmen Mikalay Autukhovich, Yury Lyavonau and Uladzimir Asipenka, as well as the activist of the Young Front Artsyom Dubski, who is serving the term for participation in the protest rally of entrepreneurs last year.

Other young people involved in the case are facing the threat of imprisonment as well: Maxim Dashuk, Alyaksandr Charnyshou, Tatsyana Bondar, Alyaksandr Barazenka, Paval Vinahradau, Mikhail Subach, Alyaksei Bondar, Mikhail Kryvau, Mikhail Pashkevich, Alyaksandr Straltsou.

Besides, 2 peaceful opposition rallies, on St. Valentine’s Day and on Solidarity Day, were brutally disbanded in February.

In March a human rights watchdog Yana Palyakova committed suicide. She had been sentenced to 2.5 years of restriction of freedom.

Opposition still does not have access to state-run mass media, and most independent newspapers still do not have a possibility to be printed and disseminated at the territory of Belarus.