The meeting of the European Parliament delegation with the Belarusian deputies scheduled for 26 February in the House of Representatives was canceled.
Such a decision was taken at the initiative of the European side.
Chairman of the Standing Commission on International Affairs of the House of Representatives Andrei Savinykh commented on the situation:
“Unfortunately, the meeting won’t take place through the fault of the European side. We were ready for the dialogue in the context of the traditional values of Belarus’ foreign policy. We extended our hand for a handshake, but received no response.”
Nevertheless, Belarus will remain committed to open policy, he noted. Another source in the House of Representatives told BelaPAN that the Belarusian side was notified of the cancellation of the meeting 15 minutes before the start.
“Apparently, at the last moment, the old stereotype popped up, since the Belarusian parliament had not been recognized, they could not enter its territory.
This is an exotic behavior which contradicts common sense,” the source said. “To reject dialogue when we have the developed relations with other EU structures on different topics looks irresponsible.”
How does the European Parliament respond?
The press service of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament explained the cancellation by the fact that the Belarusian side did not offer a format that would satisfy the deputies of the European Parliament. The delegation of the European Parliament arrived in Minsk on 24 February.
It consists of the deputy heads of the European Parliament Delegation for relations with Belarus, Waldemar Tomaszewski (Lithuania) and Karin Karlsbro (Sweden), as well as Rapporteur on Belarus of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament Petras Austrevicius (Lithuania).
The purpose of the visit, which will last until 28 February, is to familiarize the newly elected members of the European Parliament with the situation in the country and the main areas of cooperation between the European Union and Belarus.
During the visit, European parliamentarians are supposed to meet with representatives of the Belarusian authorities, the political opposition, think tanks and civil society, students. In particular, the European deputies have already held talks at the Ministry of Economy.