Petras Vaida, BC, Vilnius,
President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaite wrote a letter to President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy and President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso, urging them to look for ways to facilitate travelling and visa regime within the Schengen area for Belarusians irrespective of any sanctions that might be imposed by the EU on the Belarusian administration.
According to President Grybauskaite, it is very important that the conditions of their travelling to the EU should be no less favorable than those of the citizens of other eastern neighbors and that the visa fee they pay should be no more expensive, reported BC presidential press service.
The elections held in December of 2010 and the subsequent events in Belarus have demonstrated that the situation of human rights and democratic values in Belarus - an OSCE participating state and EU neighboring country - is among the most urgent issues of today. The European Union has been promoting the democratization of Belarus through different measures of cooperation and impact. Some of them, regrettably, have failed and encouraged the isolation of its citizens. Therefore, we need to search for new forms of cooperation with this country, the President writes in the letter to the EU leaders.
The President also underlines that the liberalization of Belarus may only be ensured by facilitating the travel of the majority of the citizens of Belarus and by easing their contacts with EU citizens.
The President suggests discussing these issues at the forthcoming meetings of the Foreign Affairs Council and the European Council.