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Statement of 19 July 2017 on dialogue with Belarus

A delegation of five Members of the European Parliament visited Minsk on July 18-19, 2017. This was the second official visit of the European Parliament headed by Bogdan Zdrojewski (Poland/European People's Party), Chair of the Delegation for relations with Belarus.

Following the various working meetings held during their stay, Mr Zdrojewski stated:

"Maintaining direct channels of communication with authorities of Belarus, including on issues where our positions differ, is crucial in developing further EU-Belarus relations. We noted the recent positive developments in certain sectors of cooperation, but also discussed the remaining significant challenges. The European Parliament intends to continue its engagement with Belarus and support for the Belarusian people."

Statement of 27 March 2017 on recent events in Belarus

Mr Bogdan Andrzej ZDROJEWSKI, Chair of the Delegation for Relations with Belarus:

It is with great concern that I followed the recent protests in Belarus and the reaction of the Belarusian authorities. We have witnessed numerous detentions and fines against demonstrators, especially during the Freedom Day on Saturday. Also, journalists were sanctioned for attempting to report the events.

In this context, I reiterate that the use of force against anyone exercising her/his right to peaceful protest cannot be justified under any circumstances, and repressions that violate the right to freedom of speech and assembly are contrary to Belarus' international obligations.

I appeal to the Belarusian authorities to immediately release all detainees, and I remind that several months of efforts on the side of both the EP and Belarus could be undermined by inadequate reactions from the authorities to the demonstration [...]

Statement of 13 September 2016 on recent parliamentary elections in Belarus

Mr Bogdan Andrzej ZDROJEWSKI, Chair of the Delegation for Relations with Belarus:

It has been an important election in Belarus, and particularly significant from the point of view of future relations with the EU. We appreciate steps undertaken towards improving the electoral process. The progress is visible, but so far the changes are unsatisfactory. Belarus still has some way to go to reach European standards.

The assessment of the election by international institutions is negative. However, for the first time in 20 years, there are opposition representatives in the Parliament.

We will continue to support pro-democratic aspirations of the Belarusian people. [...] It is a pity that on the occasion of the election Belarus made only a small step forward [...]

Statement of 22 August 2015 on the release of six political prisoners in Belarus

Mr Bogdan Andrzej ZDROJEWSKI, Chair of the Delegation for Relations with Belarus:

I welcome with satisfaction the decision of President Lukashenko to release six political prisoners in Belarus - Mykalai Statkevich, Mykalai Dziadok, Ihar Alinevich, Jury Rubtsov, Euheny Vaskovich and Artyom Prakapenka. [...] The release of political prisoners is an important and encouraging step for future relations between the EU and Belarus, but also for the future role Belarus might play in the Eastern Partnership.

At the same time, the European Parliament remains strongly committed to further defend human rights in Belarus, including freedom of speech and media. A great deal still needs to be done in this respect.

Statement of 19 June 2015 on the visit to Belarus of 18-19 June 2015

Mr Bogdan Andrzej ZDROJEWSKI, Chair of the Delegation for Relations with Belarus:

I have led the 8 MEP-strong European Parliament standing delegation on its first visit to Minsk since 2002. The structured and intensive programme has allowed us to have several exchanges of views and to receive information on the functioning of the Institutions in Belarus and to discuss the perspectives offered by the Eastern Partnership [...]

The Delegation has met with Belarusian authorities on 18 June and with Belarusian representatives of the main opposition parties and civil society, as well as with representatives of the association of journalists and relatives of political prisoners on 19 June.

Meetings with Belarusian authorities have given the EP Delegation the opportunity to better understand the elements on which future sectoral cooperation with Belarus could be built, but also to express its concerns [...]