Three members of the European Parliament from Lithuania and one from Germany annonced they would like to visit Belarus, including the construction site of the Belarusian nuclear power plant in Ostrovets. However, Minsk hasn’t coordinated their visit that was planned on April 20 due to “administrative reasons.”
The Belarusian Foreign Ministry explained that it had made the European delegates a counter-proposal and criticized them for revealing the working details of the visit’s preparation.
European MPs Pyatras Auštrevičius, Algirdas Saudargas, Bronis Rope (all from Lithuania) and Rebecca Harms (Germany), who were intending to visit Belarus, got a message saying that the visit had been declined, the press service of Auštrevičius said on 11 April.
“On 10 April the Ambassador of Belarus to Belgium referring said that it was impossible to arrange the requested meetings because of administrative reasons,” the statement read.
The MPs noted that an open dialogue about safety of the Belarusian NPP in Ostrovets is crucial “especially because it is located on the border with the EU”. They expressed dissapoinment by the fact that the visit got delayed.
Responding to the European politicians, the Belarusian Foreign Ministry confirmed that it had reeceived the request.
“The ministry started working on this issue taking into consideration that such visits can not be spontaneous. We believe it is unacceptable to reveal details of the talks on the organization of a visit before they are over and publicly interpret our proposals as a refusal to cooperate,” the Belarusian MFA said in a comment on 12 April.
The Ministry believes “such actions of the European parlimentarians give reason to doubt the sincerity of intentions and readiness for a constructive and respectful dialogue with the Belarusian side”.
The European Parliament has recently made a harsh resolution on Belarus. In addition to criticism of repression and crackdown on protests, MPs urged to the European Commission to monitor the adherence to safety standards during the construction of the Belarusian NPP.
This issue was also mentioned in the critical statement of the EU delegation that followed the meeting of the Belarus-EU Coordination Group in Minsk on 3-4 April.