The International conference “Future of Belarus” has started in Vilnius today, on May 25. It is dated for the 20th anniversary of independent research in our country and the foundation of the Independent Institute of Socio-Economic and Political Studies.
Opening the conference, deputy Foreign Minister of Lithuania Vytautas Leškevičius expressed anxiety in connection with the issues of democracy and human rights “in some neighbouring states”.
Vytautas Leškevičius: “Being a member of the democratic community, Lithuania is glad about hosting such analytical centres and organizations as IISEPS. The fact that they are concentrated in Vilnius demonstrates our close cooperation and the level of communication with all the objects functioning in Belarus”.
Vytautas Leškevičius also recalled the 20th anniversary of EHU situated in Vilnius and supported by the Lithuanian state in his speech. The official expressed a hope that the next conference would take place in democratic Belarus.
At the same time, US Charge d`affairs Michael Scanlan expressed a wish that Belarus would develop in the democratic direction and thanked Aleh Manayeu and his team for 20 years of work.
Michael Scanlan: “Having spent 3 years in Belarus, I can see different views and opinions there. However, people usually share them only with friends and relatives in the kitchen. The ability to unite these groups is unreachable for people. However, it is possible to build up connections and bridges between these separate groups with the help of prof. Manayeu’s work”.
The conference will continue on Saturday, May 26. Belarusian scientists, civil activists and international experts – about 100 people – are taking part in the event.