Expert: President confirms normalization in relations with EU


Meeting Sergei Naryshkin, chairman of the Russian parliament's lower house, the Duma, on June 13 in Minsk, Belarus president Alyaksandr Lukashenka said he wanted to develop better relations with the European Union without harming Russia.

In the view of pro-governmental political commentator Vadzim Hihin, this is not a new U-turn in Belarusian foreign policy, because the country's leadership has never refused from a multi-vector foreign policy. But European and American partners would always impose conditions towards Minsk; it is only since recetly that EU has begun adjusting its policy towards Belarus, says Mr Hihin.

Hihin: "It would be foolish not to make steps in return. With his statement, the president at his high level has confirmed the process of normalization in relations. If the head of state says that there is some progress, it means this process is in progress indeed. These are not just some assumtions by journalists or experts. There have been some positive developments in the attitudes by western capitals to Minsk. But I would not expect it to be a very fast process. However, we have made our relations too tense in the past two years. The situaion should now be defrozen at least."

The ball is EU's side, reckons Mr Hihin. He insists it is time for the European Union to make steps forward.