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Opinions & Interviews

9 Mar 2016

Andreichenko: Belarus is ready for respectful human rights dialogue with EU

Andreichenko: Belarus is ready for respectful human rights dialogue with EU

MINSK, 9 March (BelTA) – Belarus is ready for a respectful dialogue on human rights with the European Union, Chairman of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus Vladimir Andreichenko said during a meeting with EU Special Representative for Human Rights Stavros Lambrinidis on 9 March, BelTA has learned.

“Belarus is always ready for a constructive, mutually beneficial, and respectful dialogue on any matters including human rights,” Vladimir Andreichenko said. He added that work is underway to draw up the national human rights action plan in line with recommendations of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). “We take the recommendations very seriously, and will be working to implement them,” the official stressed.

Vladimir Andreichenko said that Belarus welcomes the decision of the European Union to lift the sanctions. The country views the move as a step in the right direction. “This decision will give a considerable boost to the relations between businessmen and politicians. This signal is appreciated by people in Belarus and the EU, and I am confident that we will advance our cooperation to a higher level. It is great that we are breaking the deadlock that existed for some time,” the Chairman of the House of Representatives noted.

He said that Belarus and the European Union do not need to build their relations from scratch. Much has already been achieved. For instance, Belarus takes part in the Eastern Partnership initiative. At present, the country is negotiating visa facilitation and readmission agreements with the European Commission. “Despite the decline in the relations, we managed to maintain contacts at the level of ministries and government agencies,” Vladimir Andreichenko emphasized. He added that members of the House of Representatives make their contribution to this work. For example, they take part in sessions of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

Vladimir Andreichenko also drew attention to the trade and economic cooperation between Belarus and the EU. He stressed that in 2015 the bilateral trade totaled almost $15 billion. Belarus received $5.5 billion in EU investments.

For his part, Stavros Lambrinidis noted that the improvement of the situation in the field of human rights in Belarus will contribute to the strengthening of the positive image of the country in Europe.

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